PEORIA — Illinois remains on pace for a full reopening from any COVID-19 restrictions beginning June 11, Gov. JB Pritzker said during a visit to Peoria on Wednesday.
He cheered the prospect of moving out of the state’s “bridge phase” and into Phase 5 and noted in particular the rapid vaccination of children aged 12 and over as a positive trend.
The elimination of restrictions — right now, capacity limits still are in place on restaurants, offices, businesses, recreation facilities and entertainment and event venues, among other locations — is dependent, he noted, on continuing stability or reduction in hospital admissions and stability or improvement in the availability of intensive-care unit beds.
On Peoria’s riverfront with the recently renovated Murray Baker Bridge as a backdrop, Pritzker touted the recently approved state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1, calling it balanced. He pointed in particular to economic recovery programs meant to help the state emerge from the coronavirus pandemic, including building upon the state Business Interruption Grant program that benefited more than 100 Peoria-area small businesses, and cited continued funding for summer youth employment programs for teens like the one that hired more than 200 in the area last year.
State Rep. Jehan Gordon-Booth also cheered the passage of the budget and what she said are continued investments in the state’s infrastructure.
“If we invest in our people and the infrastructure around them, they will rise to the occasion,” the Peoria Democrat said.
Lawmakers still have some work to do and are likely to return during the summer to vote on legislation relating to energy policy. They also have to vote to appropriate funds for specific projects in the coming year as part of the state’s multi-year capital construction plan initially approved in 2019.