State Rep. Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur) isn’t surprised by the findings in a new Brownstone Institute study that gives Gov. J.B. Pritzker with a “complete fail” grade based on his handling of the COVID-19 crisis.

“This is what happens when you have a dictator or someone who thinks they’re some kind of supreme ruler,” Caulkins said of the governor’s mitigation that has come through executive orders. “For the last 18 months, we've asked the Democrats to convene and discuss and legislate rather than to let this governor rule like a dictator. The survey validates what we're trying to do and what we’ve been asking the majority party to do.”

Caulkins charges far too often Pritzker has put his own interest ahead of the people in the way he’s governed.

“We have a governor who thinks he’s the only one that has solutions,” he said. “We have a court decision that found these mandates illegal and still the governor persists in pushing them.”

The Brownstone study composed data from every state from March 2020 through April 2021, with Pritzker receiving worse than an F – he was graded as a “complete fail.”

Researchers said, “there’s a special place for governors that locked kids out of classrooms for a year and a half, ordered sick COVID-19 patients back into nursing homes, did not practice their own orders, shut down tens of thousands of businesses and still couldn’t beat the U.S. average in COVID-19 deaths or excess all-cause deaths.”

Caulkins said not even Pritzker’s wife and daughter deciding to spend most of the pandemic in Florida has made him see the light.

“It just hasn’t resonated to him that people that can leave Illinois are doing so,” he said. “He’s yet to even learn a lesson from his own family."

As for all the fallout stemming from the mitigations, Caulkins argues much of it has proven to be totally uncalled for.

“I just think at the end of the day we need to be leaving it up to families to decide what is best for them,” he said.

Caulkins said he can’t think of any way the state is better off under Pritzker’s control.

“The job of the governor is not to try to control the lives of the people you’re supposed to represent,” he said.

The Prairie State Wire reported Theodora “Teddi” Pritzker spent New Year’s Eve in the Bahamas in a nightclub environment without a mask after her father urged residents to stay at home.