Ill. governor backs down on plan to criminalize stay-at-home violations

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker listens to a question after announcing a shelter in place order to combat the spread of the Covid-19 virus, during a news conference Friday, March 20, 2020, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WMTV/WBIR) -- Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker is reportedly going to withdraw his request for an emergency order that would criminalize business owners that defy his ‘stay-at-home’ order.

State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-35) told NBC15 sister-station WIFR that the Democratic governor backed off the plan because he couldn’t win enough support within his own party. In addition to the Democrats opposed to the edict, every Republican on the legislative committee that could block the order was committed to voting against it.

That committee was scheduled to meet at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday to decide the fate of the directive. Of the 12 members, eight would have to vote against the order to block it.

The rule would have set a maximum penalty for violating the emergency order would have been a $2,500 fine and up to a year in jail.