Sen. Wilcox: Illinoisans deserve transparency; Republicans seek greater transparency in the state’s efforts to combat COVID-19

McHenry, IL. – Transparency is a key component of citizen confidence in its government, but it’s been lacking during the current state of emergency and statewide ‘stay at home’ order, according to State Sen. Craig Wilcox. 

“My Senate Republican colleagues and I repeatedly reached out to the Governor’s office for critical details about government operations and the decision-making behind new policies. Unfortunately, he has not been as forthcoming as he should.” 

The 32nd District Senator said it became necessary to publicly release copies of letters sent to the Governor, hoping the attention would lead to answers. The latest letter emphasizes the need for increased transparency in three key areas: 

Who are the medical experts and leading epidemiologists that the administration is relying on to make consequential decisions concerning life and death and the economy?

  • Is the administration consulting experts from other fields? If so, which fields and which experts?
  • Will the administration provide a comprehensive list with qualifications and backgrounds? 

Will the administration release more detailed information on the models being used to make key decisions?

  • Upon which specific models is the administration relying?
  • How do those compare or contrast with the modeling used in other states or at the federal level?
  • How have those models and the estimates changed over recent weeks?
  • Will the administration release these models for public scrutiny? 

Will the administration release more information about inmates released early from state prisons as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • What are the criteria to make decisions as to who is released?
  • Do all of those released fit that criteria?
  • If not, who specifically was released that did not fit the criteria, and why were they released?
  • Is there a limit to the number of people the Governor is willing to release, regardless of the criteria?
  • Are there any violent crimes that are not eligible for release?
  • Are there any non-violent crimes that are not eligible for release? As in, are there any non-violent felonies for which someone has been incarcerated, as in burglary, theft, home repair fraud (against seniors in particular) that are not eligible for early release?
  • Does an individual’s prior criminal history make any difference?

“Transparency is a critical component of democracy,” said Wilcox. “Considering the seriousness of the impact of the ‘stay-at-home’ orders and the unparalleled power and authority they represent over the lives and livelihoods of millions of Illinois citizens, there has never been a more critical time requiring openness and honesty with the people. However, I would add that I acknowledge and appreciate the efforts the Governor took to have the modelers speak publicly at today’s daily COVID-19 press conference.” 

A copy of the letter is available here.


Craig Wilcox

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