Illinois Public Health Department given teeth to fight businesses defying Executive Order

According a story from Public Broadcasting Service affiliate WTTW-Chicago, the state has added a penalty clause to its COVID-19 emergency order aimed at businesses non-essential business that defy the Governor J.B. Pritzker's March Executive Order.

"Members of Pritzker's cabinet described it as a new and gentler "tool" that law enforcement can use to keep businesses closed during the coronavirus pandemic – and therefore keep people safe – that’s less severe than other options, like closure orders or stripping establishments of their liquor licenses," WTTW reports. "Pritzker’s top attorney, Ann Spillane, admitted a misdemeanor charge could be seen as “intimidating” especially if it was targeted at bartenders or servers. But because it's instead aimed at businesses, she said there’s no threat of jail time and believes it’s a "less dramatic" step than some other alternatives."

The amendment comes just days after The Zone in St. Joseph was ordered closed by a Temporary Restraining Order issued by Judge Tom Difanis.

Unless legislators on the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules oversight committee vote to reject the addition, which took effect on Friday because it is classified as an "emergency", the new rules will be in effect for the next 148 days.

St. Joseph-Ogden High School 2024 baseball seniors