Illinois Gov. J. B. Pritzker has issued a directive to fine businesses in which mask requirements are being violated. WGN News reports:
Pritzker said his administration is filing new emergency rules to require businesses and schools to enforce the mandatory face mask rules — or be fined.
The governor issued a statewide mask mandate on May 1 for most people in most public settings, but enforcement has been an issue.
According to Pritzker’s office, businesses that don’t comply with the mask mandate will be given a written notice warning. If they don’t voluntarily comply, businesses will then be given an order for patrons to leave the property “as needed to comply with public health guidance and reduce risks.”
Currently, the governor said the only way to enforce the rules is by revoking a business’ license. He thinks this is the way to go to try and get more compliance. The legislation he signed Friday will help front line workers and those trying to make sure people follow the states distancing and mask mandates.
Some critics call the proposed rules a slap in the face.
Perhaps not coincidentally the governor is facing an order to appear or face criminal prosecution over his abuse of emergency powers. From ABC 7 Chicago:
CLAY COUNTY, Ill. (WLS) — Governor JB Pritzker has been ordered to appear in court over a legal challenge involving his statewide action during the coronavirus pandemic.
The governor is accused of violating a ruling that states he does not have the authority to extend an emergency order beyond 30 days.
Weeks ago, a judge in downstate Clay County sided with Republican State Representative Darren Bailey regarding the legal challenge.
Pritzker is facing a warrant for his arrest unless he shows up in court next week to explain why he should not be found in contempt.
The governor retorts that it’s a political stunt. He’s right. It is political. And it could easily be sidestepped by conforming with the law, seeking the approval of the legislature for his actions or getting the legislature to change the law granting him emergency powers.
Although the number of cases of COVID-19 being diagnosed in Illinois has been rising, the number of deaths due to the disease has remained flat for over a month. The resources of health care facilities are not being strained in any area of the state by COVID-19 patients. The only explanation I can come up with for the governor’s actions is that he is willing to destroy Illinois’s economy and society in the pursuit of an impossible goal—halting the spread of SARS-CoV-2 in the absence of a safe, effective, affordable vaccine.