* A false claim by the Daily Wire…
The governor’s office “filed an emergency rule that would penalize owners of restaurants, bars, gyms, barbershops and other businesses for reopening before coronavirus restrictions are lifted,” The Hill reports.
The emergency rule makes reopening early a “class A felony,” which, in Illinois, carries with it a fine of up to $2,500 and up to a year in jail.
If it hadn’t been for Rep. Skillicorn favorably tweeting this story I likely wouldn’t have seen it. As The Hill and everyone else reported, it’s a Class A misdemeanor, not a felony.
* Daily Herald…
DuPage County Sheriff James Mendrick has joined a chorus of suburban law enforcement officials who say they won’t enforce Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s stay-at-home order as a criminal offense.
On Monday, Mendrick said he decided to post the message after receiving hundreds of phone calls from “terrified citizens asking me if I’m going to arrest them” for meeting with their friends or being at a business.
He said there’s no need to threaten to arrest residents when they are staying home, wearing masks and social distancing to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
“Through community policing and education, we’ve had full compliance,” Mendrick said. “So why would I threaten a society that’s compliant?
He stressed he’s not defying Gov. Pritzker.
People are most certainly freaked out by this new IDPH emergency rule. Unveiling it late Friday with no advance notice to pretty much anyone was a really bad idea. And stories like this one just fan the flames…
Illinois business owners could do jail time under Pritzker’s new emergency rules
Illinois business owners found guilty of violating the governor’s stay-at-home-orders could land in jail for up to a year under new emergency rules filed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker late Friday, two months into his executive response to slow the spread of COVID-19.
* The rule is also poorly drafted. Text message from a Democratic legislator…
There’s no language in the rule directly tying it to the Gov’s EO. So it technically can stay in place well after the EO expires. (Which will fuel a lot of the crazies and their conspiracy theories.) Of course, the rule could be withdrawn when the EO expires, but there’s no accounting in the rule for the phased re-opening contemplated in the gov’s plan. Hair salons are scheduled to reopen in stage three, but restaurants not til stage four. The rule doesn’t address that. And of course, the reopening can happen at different points geographically.
The rule is here.
* But some legislators are receiving this form e-mail…
We would like to vote NO on the following:
Vote NO against granting an overreach of the Governor’s power.
Vote NO against making changes to the Illinois Constitution granting additional power to the Governor.
VOTE to OPEN THE STATE.
Vote: “NO” to Mandatory Vaccination against COVID-19
Vote: “NO” to Mandatory Testing of COVID-19
Nobody is pushing to change the constitution. Also, arguing against mandatory vaccination probably doesn’t help their cause and testing isn’t mandatory.
* Stopping this rule will require two Democrats to cross over tomorrow…
State Rep. Keith Wheeler, R-Oswego, is on the Joint Commission on Administrative Rules. He said when the commission meets in Springfield on Wednesday, he will file a motion to suspend the rules.
“That takes eight members, so it would have to be bipartisan with respect to getting a suspension,” Wheeler told WMAY on Monday.
The commission is comprised of six Democrats, three from each the House and Senate, and six Republicans, three from each the House and Senate.
The rules are in place right now, Wheeler said. If the rules are not suspended on Wednesday, they will be in place through the second week of October. He called the rules an abuse of the rule-making process.
“If they’re intent on doing this, they can do this by statute,” Wheeler said. “The push back they give on that is it’s easier to withdraw an emergency rule and that is true but we sunset things in Springfield all the time, so I’m sure that the creative minds in Springfield could find a way if everyone agreed this was good policy, which I don’t.”
* But why they even needed to issue the rule is still somewhat beyond me…
During his daily coronavirus press briefing Monday, Pritzker pointed out that defying an Illinois Department of Public Health Act rule has always been a Class A misdemeanor. He said the emergency rule is simply another “tool” for local law enforcement.
“That’s the existing law today, in fact, last week and last year,” Pritzker said. “Under that existing law, law enforcement can issue a citation to the business. … This additional enforcement tool causes less harm to a business than a total shutdown or loss of a license, but gives local law enforcement the ability to do their jobs.”
Not to mention that the governor has unnecessarily created a huge uproar ahead of the first legislative session since March.
*** UPDATE *** From the governor’s media briefing…
Governor what exactly do you want JCAR to do tomorrow? I’m hearing a couple of concerns about your order lasting quote five months, can you clear that up?…
The rule that we’ve put in place in emergency would only last until the end of this phase. That’s about 10 more days. And then in phase three a new rule would need to be issued. That’s the way it would work. It’s not something that would last five months.
It’s kinda ludicrous that they caused all this uproar over two weeks of enforcement.