An updated filing to Illinois Governor JB Pritzker's stay-at-home order cites that businesses who re-open in defiance of the order could face a criminal misdemeanor charge for doing so.
The filing, made Friday afternoon, has already been called out, particularly by GOP legislators who say they will move to suspend the emergency rule when reconvening this week.
WTTW in Chicago reported on the updated order over the weekend and heard from Pritzker's General Counsel, Anne Spillane, who attributed an offense to a, "traffic ticket."
Spillane told the station that because it’s aimed at businesses, "there’s no threat of jail time and is a less dramatic step than some other alternatives," which were explained as closure orders or pulling liquor licenses.
As WSPY has reported, Governor Pritzker said last week that there would be consequences for local leaders and businesses that allow re-openings not allowed under the order or for those leaders who choose not to enforce against re-opening.
Weekend press briefings were suspended last weekend, so no new statement has yet been made by the Governor about the Class A misdemeanor penalty for businesses.
While Pritzker's attorney says jail time would not be sought, state statute indicates a Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to 364 days in jail and fines of up to $2500.
Some lawmakers issued statements over the weekend, including locally.
Republican Rep. Keith Wheeler of Oswego referred to the rule as making, "criminals of certain businesses who the governor has determined shouldn’t be open."
Echoing comments by House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, Wheeler called the rule, "an abuse of emergency rulemaking" and "vast government overreach."
Wheeler said he would make a motion to suspend the rule during the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules meeting on Wednesday.
If not blocked by JCAR, the emergency rules would stay in effect for 150 days.