A new study rating the states during the coronavirus lockdowns finds that Illinois is the least free state in the nation thanks to its draconian lockdown rules.
The study was conducted by the personal finance website, WalletHub, which conducted the survey to see which states had lost a measure of freedom during the coronavirus scare.
“Americans experienced unprecedented restrictions on their everyday life in order to fight the coronavirus,” the site said, “but now most states have partially reopened. In order to determine the states with the fewest coronavirus restrictions, WalletHub compared the 50 states and the District of Columbia across 11 key metrics.”
The criteria included whether masks were recommended or required, the types of travel restrictions, restrictions on large gatherings, school closures, restaurants and bars closures, how reopening of “non-essential” businesses are being handled, child care restrictions, the strictness of “shelter-in-place” rules, whether a state is part of a multi-state arrangements, rules about the suspension or postponement of legislative sessions, and rules governing medical services, including elective surgery.
According to the study, the state with the fewest restrictions is South Dakota where GOP Governor Kristi Noem is guiding her state through the crisis.
Two major reasons why South Dakota ranks as the state with the fewest coronavirus restrictions are that it is one of only seven states that never had a mandate for all schools to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is the only state that never required a statewide closure of bars and restaurants. South Dakota has already lifted some of the restrictions it did implement, such as its ban on large gatherings, and it only recommends wearing a mask in public rather than requiring it like most states do.
The next state loosening restrictions most is Wisconsin. The Dairy State has a Democrat governor, but a mostly GOP legislature. Wisconsin has made a major shift since WalletHub first started its ratings. But the state’s liberal governor recently lost a major case when the state Supreme Court shot down his restrictions.
“Wisconsin moved from 34 to 2, up 32 positions,” WalletHub said. “This is due in part to the fact that the state has lifted all restrictions on large gatherings, had closed but fully re-opened restaurants and bars, has child care programs open and has fully reopened all non-essential businesses.”
The other eight states in the Top 10 are all run by Republican governors.
The states with the least restrictions are: Idaho (Republican Gov. Brad Little), Missouri (Republican Gov. Mike Parson), Utah (Republican Gov. Gary Herbert), Wyoming (Republican Gov. Mark Gordon), Montana (Democrat Gov. Steve Bullock) Arizona (Republican Gov. Doug Ducey), North Dakota (Republican Gov. Doug Burgum) and Iowa (Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds).
Unsurprisingly, nearly all the worst states are fun by Democrats.
The most restrictive states are: Michigan (Democrat Gov. Gretchen Whitmer), New York (Democrat Gov. Andrew Cuomo), New Mexico (Democrat Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham), Washington (Democrat Gov. Jay Inslee), Hawaii (Democrat Gov. David Ige), Vermont (Republican Gov. Phil Scott) , Massachusetts (Republican Gov. Charlie Baker), District of Columbia (Democrat Mayor Muriel Bowser), Rhode Island (Democrat Gov. Gina Raimondo) and Illinois (Democrat Gov. J.B. Pritzker).
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