State Representative David Allen Welter, R-Morris, issued the following statement today following news that Governor JB Pritzker filed new emergency rules that would make criminals of certain businesses who the governor has determined shouldn’t be open. The emergency rule which is already in effect makes it a Class A misdemeanor to have those businesses open.
Class A misdemeanors bring fines up to $2500 and 364 days in jail. That means that a single-mom doing nails in her own home to try to feed her children and keep a roof over their heads would be subject to a substantial penalty and jail time. That process includes fingerprinting and a conviction that remains on a person’s permanent record and the result could impact their licensure which in Illinois is their ability to earn a living.
“Enough is enough. It is absolutely outrageous and wrong for the Governor to weaponize the rulemaking process to tag struggling Illinoisans as criminals. In what bizarre universe does a Governor criminalize local small and family-owned businesses who are trying to survive at the same time he directs the Illinois Department of Corrections to let convicted murderers and violent felons out of prison because of the virus? This is a vast government overreach in a time when business owners are doing everything they can to survive. Filing these emergency rules when communities across the state are already meeting guidelines to re-open safely is an abuse of power by the Governor. The people of Illinois have to stand up for their rights, and the General Assembly should have the right to vote on the Governor’s policies in response to COVID-19. I am going to fight the Governor’s abuse of power as strenuously as I can.”
Please contact Representative Welter’s district office at (815) 416-1475 with any questions.