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5 Winnebago County Mayors Ask Gov. Pritzker For Authority To Reopen Some Businesses If Stay-At-Home Order Is Extended

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Five mayors in Northern Illinois far northwest of Chicago are asking Gov. JB Pritzker for the authority to reopen some businesses next month.

In a letter, the leaders of the Winnebago County communities of Loves Park, Machesney Park, Durand, South Beloit, and Cherry Valley question the statewide stay-at-home order.

They say thousands of workers are suffering because they have been deemed non-essential.

CBS affiliate WIFR-TV in Rockford reported Loves Park Mayor Greg Jury noted that big box stores are being allowed to stay open, but small businesses not.

The letter asks that if Gov. Pritzker extends the stay-at-home order, the municipalities get to be allowed to decide which small businesses can stay open.

"We're asking that some measure of control be returned locally on a regional basis to Northern Illinois. Northern Illinois is not Detroit, Northern Illinois is not Kentucky, and frankly it's not Cook County," Village Administrator for Machesney Park Tom Savage was quoted by WIFR.

Rockford Mayor Tom McNamara did not sign onto the letter and does not agree with the idea.

"Now is not the time to reverse course. A plan to open all businesses on a single day - or to allow a hodgepodge system where each city makes its own rules - is not responsible," McNamara said in a statement quoted by WIFR.

Pritzker said he is monitoring the number of coronavirus cases before deciding when it is safe to ease restrictions.

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