State Watch

Midwest governors announce partnership to coordinate reopening economies

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) on Thursday announced the latest coalition of regional governors who will collaborate on a plan for reopening their states’ economies after the coronavirus pandemic subsides.

The alliance will include Pritzker, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R), Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb (R), Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear (D), Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D) and Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D).

“We are doing everything we can to protect the people of our states and slow the spread of COVID-19, and we are eager to work together to mitigate the economic crisis this virus has caused in our region,” the governors said in a joint statement.

“Here in the Midwest, we are bound by our commitment to our people and the community. We recognize that our economies are all reliant on each other, and we must work together to safely reopen them so hardworking people can get back to work and businesses can get back on their feet,” the statement adds.

The governors said in the statement that they will make decisions on reopening based on a combination of the rate of new infections and hospitalizations, testing and contact tracing capacity, the ability of the state’s health care system to handle a resurgence and the extent to which workplaces can implement social distancing best practices.

“Phasing in sectors of our economy will be most effective when we work together as a region. This doesn’t mean our economy will reopen all at once, or that every state will take the same steps at the same time. But close coordination will ensure we get this right,” the statement reads.

“Over time, people will go back to work, restaurants will reopen, and things will go back to normal. We look forward to working together as one region to tackle this challenge together,” it concludes.

The coalition is the third one announced for the same purpose, following similar compacts between governors on the West Coast and in the Northeast.

Tags Andy Beshear Coalition Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic governors Gretchen Whitmer J. B. Pritzker Midwest Northeast Tim Walz Tony Evers west coast

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