McHenry County State’s Attorney will not enforce indoor dining ban

Local News

MCHENRY COUNTY, Ill. (WTVO) — The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that it will not be enforcing Gov. JB Pritzker’s indoor dining ban.

State’s Attorney Patrick Kenneally said in a statement:

First, there is no provision in the executive orders or the Illinois Emergency Management Act requiring or even authorizing the State’s Attorney’s Office to enforce these orders.

Second, there is the legitimate question, currently being litigated, as to whether the executive orders, which require the Governor to exercise “emergency powers,” are authorized under Illinois law or otherwise constitutional.

The legitimacy of the Governor exercising “emergency” powers, going on ten months now, could have been easily answered by the Illinois Legislature. To date and despite having ample opportunity, the Legislature has offered nothing. In other words, the People’s representatives, charged with advancing the will and interests of residents, have yet to consider or legislate on one of the most important issues this State has ever faced.

Rather, the Governor has taken it upon himself to unilaterally make “laws” by executive order – without any identifiable criteria or process – that drastically impact the day-to-day lives and constitutional rights of every Illinois resident and then execute those laws. This is a dangerous combination in a constitutional republic.

As such, we cannot in good conscience enforce the ban on indoor dining, which may result in hundreds of McHenry County businesses permanently being shuttered, without some definitive validation by the Legislature or courts of the Governor’s continued use of “emergency” powers.

That said, the McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office will uphold and enforce all other related administrative rules, ordinances, and statutes. This would include 77 Ill. Admin. Code 690.50, which was lawfully promulgated by the Illinois Department of Health. This rule established limits on business occupancy and requires business employees and customers to wear masks and maintain at least a six-foot social distance at all other times.

We would note further that violators of executive orders may face consequences from other, independent government agencies, which would include, but are not limited to, the Illinois State Police, the Illinois Attorney General, the Illinois Liquor Control Commission, and the Illinois Gaming Board.

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