As Illinois slowly begins the reopening process, some state legislators have decided to start hosting in-person fundraisers.

Organizers of a Black Lives Matter protest in Anna, Illinois, figured 10 people might show up for their event on June 4. The organizers endured threats of violence for days leading up to the rally.

Hey, this is Anna we're talking about here. Excuse my bluntness, but they don't call Anna "Ain't No N------ Allowed" for nothing. Anyone who knows even a tiny bit about southern Illinois and race history knows that Anna is Illinois' most infamous "sundown town." To this day, some residents still wear that moniker as a badge of honor.

According to the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH), in the period just prior to and just after Governor JB Pritzker issued his first stay-at-home order in March, houses of worship in Illinois experienced thirteen COVID-19 outbreaks, resulting in 88 cases.

Since then, Illinois has seen no such outbreaks until one was revealed last week. IDPH told me of a very recent church-related outbreak of 39 cases, including the pastor.

Last winter, a buddy of mine asked me if I thought I could cover state-legislative sessions from a remote, perhaps warmer, location.

I've been writing about Illinois politics and government for 30 years. Like many of my more-experienced colleagues, I've developed an extensive list of sources and contacts that I can reach out to. I can also watch General Assembly floor debates and many committee hearings on the Internet.

For many weeks after the beginning of this COVID-19 crisis, Governor JB Pritzker proved adept at telegraphing his every move.

Governor JB Pritzker has repeatedly said he's delegating enforcement of his stay-at-home order to local governments.

That stance has frustrated some folks who want him to get tougher with violators (although he'd undoubtedly risk making martyrs out of them if he did crack down hard). And the governor's position seems to have emboldened some local officials to defy the governor's order and open up their economies on their own.

A recent poll shows Illinoisans strongly approve of Governor JB Pritzker's handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in Illinois, and an even higher number supports his stay-at-home order.

Governor JB Pritzker

The First Amendment to the US Constitution prevents government intrusion on journalists' rights to tell their stories and your rights to read or watch or listen to them.

But that means things can get messy. Some reporters can make everyone else look bad.

While short on details, the state and regional guidance finally issued by the White House last week gives us a set of pretty reasonable if difficult-to-achieve goals.

We all know why we need to contain and reduce our risk to the COVID-19 virus: Save lives, preserve health, and get people back to work.

The libertarian-leaning Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) has tried reaching out more to Democratic legislators since Governor Bruce Rauner lost his reelection bid. Rauner at one point was so close to the group that he fired several of his longtime staffers and replaced some of them with IPI staff, which did not work out well, to say the least.

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