* Press release…
Illinois House Republican Leader Jim Durkin released the following statement regarding Governor Pritzker’s proposal of new emergency rules regarding mask wearing:
“Today, I am calling on Governor Pritzker to abandon his ‘mask rule’ and work with the legislature on this issue. I am committed to respecting his priorities while recognizing the undue hardship his current rule places on businesses that are already struggling across Illinois. To do this, the Governor should immediately call the legislature into special session where we can also address the urgent need for ethics reform and the controversies surrounding the Democratic Party and Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.”
Again, it’s already in state statute that violating any IDPH rule is a misdemeanor. The only difference with this newly proposed rule is that it exempts individuals and creates a three-step process before an entity can be charged if the local state’s attorney even goes along.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Jordan Abudayyeh in the governor’s office…
As I’m sure Leader Durkin is aware, Illinois reported a high number of new COVID cases again today, similar to numbers we saw near the height of the wave of cases last spring. We have learned that quick and decisive action needs to be taken to stop the spread of this deadly virus. In the spring session the administration withdrew emergency rules after the General Assembly said they would take up this critical issue during session. Leader Durkin and his colleagues in the General Assembly failed to vote on any enforcement that protects the health and safety of Illinoisans, indeed many of his caucus members railed against any legal measures to curtail the spread of COVID-19. So as promised, the administration has introduced a new rule incorporating feedback from lawmakers and stakeholders like the Illinois Retail Merchants Association and the Illinois Restaurant Association. Existing public health rules allow the State to take action to stop the spread of infectious diseases like whooping cough, measles and many others and should include COVID-19. The only difference now is that there is a loud super-minority playing politics with public health. We can only prevent the spread of COVID-19 by working together to do what’s right, and the Governor urges the members of JCAR to protect the health and safety of the public.
…Adding… The administration may have incorporated “feedback” from IRMA, but the group is opposed to this rule…
The Illinois Retail Merchants Association says the state’s enforcement actions should target individuals who do not comply with mask mandates and other public health guidelines… rather than, quote, “demonizing innocent businesses.”
*** UPDATE 2 *** Rob Karr with IRMA told me the Abudayyeh statement is “not accurate.” He did get a call yesterday, but he was never actually given any language by the governor’s office and was never asked for any input from them.
…Adding… I’m told the input the governor’s office received from IRMA came via two JCAR members.