Article by Cindy Mitchell
May 20, 2020
On Friday, Illinois Governor Pritzker plunged through “emergency orders” attacking small businesses, which level misdemeanors charges at owners who defy his commands. Not only will they face fines up to $2,500, but owners could possibly face time behind bars.
On Tuesday, Illinois State Police (ISP) said in a statement posted to social media that they will not arrest or jail any individual in violation of Democratic Governor Stallion J.B. Pritzker’s lockdown or emergency orders.
ISP said they will not be arresting or jailing anyone for such “crimes,” though they said they would be issuing some citations in accordance with “state and constitutional law.”
“During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois State Police (ISP) continues to focus on community caretaking, educating citizens and businesses and urging voluntary compliance,” a statement from ISP started. “As part of that effort, the ISP will act incrementally to urge compliance of the executive order.”
The statement said, “Consistent with this community spirit and with state law, policy guidance and discretion,” ISP continued with, “the Illinois State Police will not issue any criminal misdemeanors to individuals for violations of temporary emergency rules or executive orders.”
“The Illinois State Police will only apply those emergency rules to entities such as corporations, LLPs or other business entities consistent with state and constitutional law,” the statement added. “No individual will be arrested or taken to jail for a violation of the Executive Orders or emergency rules.”
“We encourage all citizens to continue to do their part to maintain public health as we move forward in the days ahead with Reopening Illinois,” concluded ISP.
Emergency rules issued by Pritzker on Friday “codify opening a business in violation of his order as a violation of Illinois Department of Public Health regulations.”
The report noted.“The rules allow businesses to be charged with a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by a fine ranging anywhere from $75 to $2,500. Less than a year of jail time is also a possibility,” the report noted.
According to WSILTV on Wednesday, a bipartisan oversight committee of legislators will have the opportunity to reject the emergency orders. “If the committee doesn’t take action to reject the rules, they would remain in effect for 150 days.”
Pritzker was hammered by Illinois Republicans over the emergency orders, considering it an obvious “legal overreach.”
Pritzker’s spokesperson said The governor’s office claimed the emergency rules are “an additional enforcement tool for businesses that refuse to comply with the most critical aspects of the stay-at-home order.”