Illinois bowling alleys sue Pritzker over COVID-19 capacity restrictions

Local News

LINCOLNWOOD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker is facing a legal challenge from bowling alley owners, suing over COVID-19 capacity restrictions at their facilities.

The Illinois State Bowling Proprietors Association filed the lawsuit in Lee County on Tuesday. The suit asks the state court to invalidate Prtizker’s “unconstitutional and improper” exercise of authority to issue consecutive emergency declarations and restrict the number of people allowed in a bowling alley.

“Our members are suffering serious and irreparable harm in the form of insolvency or the permanent loss of their business and reputation as a result of these illegal orders,” ISBPA executive Director R. William Duff said. “While we tried to work cooperatively to find a solution, the state was unwilling to work toward a fair solution, so we were left with no choice but to seek a court order. We believe that we have both the facts and law on our side, and we look forward to presenting our case to the court.”

Under Phase 4 of the governor’s plan to slow the spread of coronavirus, bowling alleys are among the businesses restricted to allow a maximum of 50 people inside at any given time.

“Frankly, Gov. Pritzker has thrown a gutter ball on this one. Even medical experts agree that bowling is not a highly dangerous activity with regard to COVID-19 spread,” said R. William Duff, Jr., executive director of the ISBPA.

“Our members are active and engaged members of dozens of communities in the state,” Duff said. “From Chicagoland to downstate Illinois, bowling centers play an important role in the civic life of the places they call home, and the governor’s orders are hurting them.”

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