SPRINGFIELD—Today the Pritzker Administration withdrew a controversial emergency rule with severe penalties, including potential jail time, for those businesses who do not comply with the extended Stay at Home Executive Orders and attempt to reopen. The rule in question, issued by IDPH, would impose up to a year of jail time and a $2,500 fine for those non-compliant.
State Representative Tom Morrison (R-Palatine) issued the following statement in response:
“Don’t under-estimate the power of Illinois residents to speak up and be heard. In just the past 5 days, tens of thousands of Illinois residents and small businesses contacted the Governor’s office and legislative members of JCAR—the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules. That outpouring of opposition had its effect.
The Governor’s decision to stand down and withdraw this rule today is a win for Illinois Main Street businesses, most of whom are family-run operations struggling to get by in an already extremely difficult situation.
State government, and especially a governor acting alone indefinitely, should not have the power to pick winners and losers in this economy. We should all be treated fairly under the law.
Most individuals and businesses are taking the pandemic seriously and adopting safer practices appropriately. Issuing harsh penalties, misdemeanors, and potential jail time for those who are seeking to stay afloat in this pandemic is certainly not a step in the right direction for the state of Illinois, especially from a Governor who chose to release even some violent criminals from serving their full sentences.
I’m glad that at least temporarily, this one victory was won. As we move through this special session in Springfield this week, we need to focus on a more reasonable way to safely reopen our society. The legislature must be involved in these critical decisions that affect our local economies so deeply.”
While today’s rule was repealed, Rep. Morrison urges the public to stay vigilant, as Governor Pritzker announced today in his daily press conference that he may pursue legislation with similar intent to the withdrawn rule.