Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x2 *** JCAR set to approve Pritzker’s mask rule
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*** UPDATED x2 *** JCAR set to approve Pritzker’s mask rule

Tuesday, Aug 11, 2020 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Background is here if you need it. I was able to confirm this…

A rule opposed by the Illinois Municipal League is also set to go through.

You can follow along here.

…Adding… The afore-mentioned DCEO emergency rule on distribution of federal aid to local governments has been approved.

…Adding… Press release…

Illinois Municipal League Executive Director Brad Cole issued the following statement regarding the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules’ approval of guidelines for the distribution of local funding from the federal CARES Act:

“Today’s rulemaking by the Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) and the Administration is both unfortunate and untimely. It is unfortunate that the state has chosen its own bureaucracy over the betterment of its communities, by disallowing local governments from using their allotted CARES Act funds in full compliance with federal guidelines. And it is untimely in that the state continues to withhold millions of federal dollars that were intended to aid suffering local governments, aid that was enacted by Congress and the President almost five months ago, on March 27.”

The core disagreement was that the “suffering local governments” wanted near carte blanche authority to distribute federal money to local businesses. If the locals had violated federal rules, state taxpayers would be held responsible.

…Adding… The IDPH emergency rule is here.

*** UPDATE 1 *** JCAR took up a motion to oppose and suspend the IDPH emergency rule. That motion required a majority of 8 votes. It failed 6-5. The rule stands.

…Adding… IRMA isn’t pleased…

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association (IRMA) has released the following statement after the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules failed to stop Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s proposal to fine retailers for the failure of individuals to wear face coverings as required by the state:

“We are disappointed the administrative rule was not stopped. Contrary to the false narrative peddled by the administration in recent days, retailers have never been against masks. In fact, the retail industry helped develop many of the safety guidelines put in place by the state, including the use of face coverings in public,” said Rob Karr, president and CEO of the Illinois Retail Merchants Association.

“Instead of cooperation and collaboration, the Administration chose politics and confrontation in developing this rule, abandoning the partnership with retailers that has helped guide our state through this pandemic. While the Administration preaches the importance of individuals wearing face coverings, they are clearly not interested in taking responsibility for their own orders. Instead, they are exporting their enforcement responsibilities to others and playing politics with the pandemic. Make no mistake: their actions have once again put retailers and their employees in harm’s way.

“Throughout this pandemic, Illinois retailers of all types and sizes including but not limited to grocery, hardware, restaurant, taverns, pharmacy, apparel, fitness, convenience stores, and gas stations, have done all that has been asked of them, and so much more. That is why the enactment of today’s emergency rule is such an injustice to retailers large and small.”

IRMA is usually not so strident.

*** UPDATE 1 *** Press release…

Governor JB Pritzker released the following statement following JCAR upholding enforcement rule.

I have always put the health and safety of Illinoisans first, and I’m gratified that local governments now have an additional way to keep their communities safe.

I want to thank the broad coalition of Illinoisans from around the state for their input and advocacy in support of science. Groups such as the Illinois Education Association, the Illinois Federation of Teachers, the Illinois Health and Hospital Association, the Illinois Public Health Association, Open Safe Illinois and our Safety Net Hospitals. As well as the Chicago Federation of Labor, the Illinois AFL-CIO, the Illinois Restaurant Association, National Nurses United Organizing Committee-Illinois Chapter and SEIU Healthcare Illinois & Indiana worked together to ensure the state remains focused on beating this pandemic.

The vast majority of our communities and business owners are doing what’s right. Working alongside these partners, these rules will provide multiple opportunities for compliance before any penalty is issued and will help ensure that the minority of people who refuse to act responsibly won’t take our state backward. These rules will ensure that there is a commonsense way to enforce public health guidelines with an emphasis on education first so that Illinois can continue to make substantial progress in our fight against COVID-19.

…Adding… Press release…

The Illinois Fuel and Retail Association, representing the state’s gas stations and convenience stores, today issued the following statement in response to the decision by a legislative panel not to block a rule requiring masks in public places.

“Doing business in Illinois during this unprecedented time of conflict and challenge is now even harder.

A panel of legislators known as JCAR today could not find enough votes to block a misguided rule from Gov. Pritzker’s Administration requiring masks in stores and public places and fining business owners for violations. We will be considering other options, but for now, this policy will move ahead.

We do not oppose a strong public push for wearing masks and taking other protective measures in the fight against COVID-19. Our stores have detailed policies in place to keep customers protected themselves and from others through masks, social distancing and more. These steps are saving lives.

But requiring masks and punishing business owners, not customers, for not using them just doesn’t make sense. Businesses are struggling to open and stay open. We are not the problem, and yet again we are being treated as criminals. It’s not right, and it will not work.

We urge the Pritzker Administration to rethink this misguided policy that will make life harder for our small businesses, and instead partner with and support us to end this pandemic as quickly as possible and get our state back on the right track. Every moment counts.”


  1. - Eloy - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 1:06 pm:

    Love me some MarMax but feels icky to be tweeting out private conversations.

  2. - Derek Smalls - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 1:22 pm:

    Meh, talk to someone in a public place in front of a reporter and you assume the risk it gets reported.

  3. - GC - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 1:35 pm:

    Rich - I haven’t been able to find the text of either rule anywhere although JCAR emergency rulemakings are not my normal forte - do you have a copy to post?

  4. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 1:43 pm:

    Sounds to me like the Illinois Municipal League should be directing their frustration at the federal government. They are the ones who set down the rules for how the funds could be used.

  5. - Some Anonymous Dude (S.A.D.) - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 2:39 pm:

    What was vote on IDPH rule.

  6. - Some Anonymous Dude (S.A.D.) - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 2:40 pm:

    Thanks Rich.

  7. - Been There - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 2:49 pm:

    I’m not surprised it passed as there are some pretty good horse traders on that committee. Especially Cunningham. I’m sure the Gov had to trade off some support for other items he may not have wanted or at least not backed yet.

  8. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 2:51 pm:

    ==That is why the enactment of today’s emergency rule is such an injustice to retailers large and small==

    If you are requiring your customers to wear masks then you won’t have a problem. They are defending their members who can’t or won’t enforce the rules. Seems odd to be defending rule-breakers.

  9. - Club J - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 2:58 pm:

    Watching the JCAR meeting,
    Those ladies went through some tough questioning. They sure had all the answers there in front of them.

    I wonder what this will mean for the lawsuit DeVore has against the Mayor of Springfield over the mask requirement. I’m guessing it’s done now. If so that restaurant owner who’s barely making it is out all that money.

  10. - Been There - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 3:00 pm:

    GC For the DCEO rule go to JCAR’s home page. Click on the Illinois Register and go to Issue 29 on July 17th. Go to page 11824

  11. - CMPS - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 3:09 pm:

    The IRMA comment is a joke. My local Casey’s, not to mention the Target in our area, most certainly do NOT require masks. There absolutely should be fine for not enforcing the rule and, apparently, there has to be for some businesses to do so.

  12. - No Mask - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 3:22 pm:

    I will not comply

  13. - Downstater - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 3:26 pm:

    Rob Karr you have numerous businesses including restaurants, bars, hardware stores, grocery stores and more in every community who are doing absolutely nothing to require masks of employees or customers. Simply defending the no mask folks is not going to help those same businesses get back to “normal”.

  14. - Demoralized - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 3:34 pm:

    ==I will not comply==

    Exhibit A for why this was needed

  15. - GregN - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 3:35 pm:

    No Mask:
    May I ask why? Your vulnerability is up to you, but do you see nothing wrong with spreading to the community?

  16. - 4 percent - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 3:58 pm:

    The mask rule requires individuals to wear masks. So why does the Governor not impose fines on individuals that do not wear masks?

    The Gov’s office has never answered this question.

  17. - Unhappy with Illinois - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 4:06 pm:

    Looks like Missouri and Indiana sales just went up again.

  18. - From DaZoo - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 4:06 pm:

    I guess I’m looking at this rule making differently than others. I see this as providing backing and cover for businesses, not the other way around. But I guess I’m also looking at it from the standpoint of those businesses that were already implementing it and struggling at times. So now instead of their arguing with a potential patron that it’s store policy following CDC guidelines, they can say it’s an Illinois legal requirement. It gives the businesses a little more legal support especially if the local police get involved.

  19. - Club J - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 4:11 pm:

    === We urge the Pritzker Administration to rethink this misguided policy that will make life harder for our small businesses, and instead partner with and support us to end this pandemic as quickly as possible and get our state back on the right track. Every moment counts.”=====

    I’m not sure I understand this comment? Wearing a mask is trying to end the pandemic as quickly as possible and get the state back on the right track. If a gas station or convenience store worker can handle the No Shirt policy I’d think the No Mask policy if they just tried. Stating you can’t do it on the day it becomes mandated doesn’t seem logical.

    I’m with Greg N to No Mask. Why not?

  20. - SAP - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 4:32 pm:

    Puts businesses in a Catch-22 when they have to enforce against customers who won’t wear masks. If the businesses post signs and provide masks, the fines should be directed at the uncovered mouth breathers who refuse to comply.

  21. - Oswego Willy - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 4:35 pm:

    I come at this very simply;

    For weeks… and months… all I heard…

    “Open up Illinois”

    Over and over, “open up”

    Now the beef is the businesses don’t want it “forced upon them” to the mask part of being “open”?

    No masks, face the music.

  22. - Been There - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 4:38 pm:

    === Looks like Missouri and Indiana sales just went up again.===
    I have spent a majority of the summer in Indiana. It might be a county by county requirement but where I am it it is required and I would say being followed by about 85%

  23. - Club J - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 4:43 pm:

    Well didn’t take long for him to start soliciting for business. You’ll need to fast forward at the beginning. I’m not sure if he is clear on the Clay County ruling or not.

  24. - Cubs in '16 - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 5:09 pm:

    My take is the same as From DaZoo. This is a tool for business and not a punishment. It doesn’t take long for folks to figure out the ones that enforce the wearing of masks and the ones that aren’t. The people who support masks significantly outnumber those who don’t and many are not frequenting the businesses that aren’t enforcing them. Customers will return when they don’t feel they’re risking their health frequenting those establishments.

  25. - Southern Skeptic - Tuesday, Aug 11, 20 @ 5:58 pm:

    Many businesses are doing a great job, but so so many are not. What did Rob suggest? All the gov is asking for here are lower level penalties than a misdemeanor. JCAR has done what the legislature was too afraid to do in May.

  26. - john - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:15 pm:

    So its up to the businesses who have been shut down for 100 days to police our customers. Fine the people not wearing the masks not the business!! If a person breaks a law while hes in a business you fine the business and not the person breaking the law!! This is fricking America I thought!

  27. - Rich Miller - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:20 pm:

    ===So its up to the businesses who have been shut down for 100 days to police our customers.===

    You don’t already? If someone walks in to a clothing store smoking a cigar and refuses to leave and is blowing smoke on the clothes, the owner just sits there and takes it?

    Shoplifters aren’t reported?

    Vandals aren’t reported?

    If a 400 pound man walked buck naked into your baby store, what would you do?

  28. - Oswego Willy - Wednesday, Aug 12, 20 @ 12:22 pm:

    === So its up to the businesses who have been shut down for 100 days to police our customers.===

    If you want to be open… too high of a “cost”?

    That makes no sense.

    ===Fine the people not wearing the masks not the business===

    Because you want to be open… you can do your part.

    Otherwise… you have businesses deciding how they should be open, not in a uniformed way.

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