Pritzker withdraws emergency rule that would fine businesses for reopening early

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker will withdraw his emergency rule which would penalize businesses for reopening early, in violation of his stay-at-home order.

The rule, which the governor introduced on Friday, would allow fines of up to $2,500 for businesses caught in violation of the executive order.

“The emergency rules that were filed Friday afternoon by the governor creates a new crime,” said Rep. Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville). “It makes criminals out of my neighbors and my friends. It’s just shameful.”

The Illinois State Police issued a statement Wednesday saying it would not arrest anyone for violating the rule, but encouraged businesses to follow it.

The administration said it would withdraw the rule to avoid a clash between legislative and executive branches, according to sources within the Joint Action Committee, who met today to challenge the rule.

The Illinois Department of Public Health confirmed that the rule would be repealed, but lawmakers say Pritzker can still make his case to the legislature.

Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) said in a statement, “I am pleased that the Governor has decided to withdraw his emergency rules which would have negatively impacted our business community and punished hardworking Illinoisans. The idea of criminally charging small business owners for trying to stay open to support their families was something the Senate Republicans strongly opposed. This was a big win on our first day back in Springfield. I am glad that, with the help of a large public outcry, we were able to defeat this rule change.”

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