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Monday, WAAY 31 spent the day calling lawmakers on Lt. Gov. Will Ainsworth's subcommittee and asked why they think the state is ready to reopen its economy after coronavirus restrictions.
Ainsworth's committee created a plan to reopen the state in phases and took those recommendations to Gov. Kay Ivey. The plan is not final but it's the beginnings of work toward opening the state's economy up after the coronaviurs pandemic.
"There is little in some instances public health justification for what I can see for some of these closures," said Sen. Chris Elliott, who served on the small business commission.
Elliott said the coronavirus isn't effecting Alabama as was projected.
"These widespread universal closures some of which have dubious connections to public health I think really need to be revisited. Especially since projections have changed and hospital utilization have been well below what was projected and were on the right track," said Elliott.
The committee's recommendations call for hair salons, nail salons, tanning, and tattoo parlors to open immediately, but social distancing in any of these fields is impossible.
The committee recommended appointment-only customers and protective equipment. But masks, gloves and sanitizer are close to impossible to find.
"If were going to make suggestions and recommendations that PPE be used and our small businesses can't access that PPE then we have a problem there," said State Rep. Joe Lovvorn.
Lovvorn served on Ainsworth’s committee, too. He said the plan is to connect small businesses with other businesses already mass producing masks and gloves.
"Hair dressers have a regulatory board giving them a list of suppliers that could produce and have product on the shelves that can be a supplier for these businesses," said Lovvorn.
Elliott said if people are worried about going out even after the stay home order is lifted April 30th, then stay in.
"You've got small businesses owners who simply can't understand why their government would do this to them and frankly I don't have a good answer for them," said Elliott.
Ainsworth told WAAY 31 the committee spent hundreds of hours getting input from small businesses and medical professionals on it's plan to save Alabama's economy safely.
"It was our opinion that retail stores should have never been shutdown just so larger retail stores could stay open and we also thought it minimized risk to have people spread out instead of all going to one store," said Ainsworth.
Madison County Rep. Anthony Daniels also served on this committee and he said there has been a lot of confusion over it. This plan is not final and the governor is getting input from other committees before making the final plan to move forward with reopening the state in phases.