Illinois Businesses Face Misdemeanor For Stay-At-Home Defiance
Governor JB Pritzker's order requires businesses to remain closed with few exceptions. Now, a violation is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $2,500.
Despite other states starting (or continuing) to reopen for businesses, and faced with losing the backing of even more members of law enforcement, Governor Pritzker's administration filed "emergency rules" on Friday.
The change took effect Friday when the rules were filed. Legislators on a bipartisan oversight committee have the chance to review it Wednesday. If they don't reject it, the rules remain in effect for 150 days.
Pritzker administration general counsel Ann Spillane described the charge as "very mild, like a traffic ticket."
"Nobody's getting arrested or handcuffed,' she said. "But they are getting a citation where they would have to go to court."
Top Republicans blasted the move.
"These rules are a legal overreach and beyond the scope of the governor's authority," House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said in a statement Sunday. "It will be a dark day in Illinois when we charge small businesses with a jailable crime for salvaging their livelihoods."