* 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.”