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.

Without fanfare last week, Governor JB Pritzker issued a sweeping executive order (2020-19) granting many health-care providers immunity from civil liability during the COVID-19 crisis.

This is a story about two very different state legislators, representing very different districts with the same strong belief in hope during a time of anguish.

"We know now, just the fact of community spread says that at least one percent, at the very least one percent of our population, is carrying this virus in Ohio today."

That was Ohio Department of Health Director Doctor Amy Acton speaking on March 12, when Ohio had only five confirmed COVID-19 cases. One percent of Ohio's population would be about 117,000 cases. "Community spread" means that the virus was transmitted by someone from inside the community, not someone who brought it in from outside.

Pages