Area leaders proposing a sub-regional approach to re-opening Wednesday

Business News

PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Central Illinois mayors and Illinois state representatives are working to reveal a tighter regional re-opening plan Wednesday.

Local leaders are considering an 11 county sub-region, which includes Peoria, McLean, and those in between.

Gov J.B. Pritzker announced last week a regional reopening plan for the state due to COVID-19.
Our area includes 18 counties making up the northeast-central region.

“We have 102 counties in the state of Illinois and I support having regional plans, but I don’t think we want to every regional municipality to go their own way,” said Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria). “We need to have regions that make sense based on the hospital utilization patterns that are in place.”

Regional leaders are banding together to announce the plan Wednesday.

“Central Illinois is ready to open,” said Peoria’s Mayor Jim Ardis. “This plan presents the case for that. This plan has broad support throughout Central Illinois with communities large and small. Other mayors, other county board chairmen.”

Mayor Ardis added Governor Pritzker has had the locally-drafted plan since Friday. Ardis hopes Pritzker understands Central Illinois is ready for business and will consider their proposal.

“This decision is the governor’s,” said Ardis. “If it was up to local officials, we probably would have opened the process up a couple of weeks ago, but we’ve been very respectful. We’ve tried to incorporate all of the metrics that the governor’s been watching, and rightly so.”

Peoria’s mayor said leaders are prosing a plan to help businesses and communities get back on their feet.

This story will be updated.

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