Illinois Government Responses to Covid-19 Updated 5/27/2020
Today’s update discusses:
- Springfield businesses facing cease and desist orders for reopening early
- Chicago Mayor’s industry-specific rules for reopening
- The decision of the federal district court in Chicago to postpone jury trials until August
- An Illinois Representative planning to seek a recall of Governor Pritzker
- Some good news from Governor Pritzker as the state’s COVID-19 data trends downward
- Illinois is set to enter Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan on May 29. But, at least one restaurant, a salon, and a gym in Springfield have opened early in defiance of the stay-at-home order. In the state’s capitol, the Springfield Police Department issued cease and desist notices to the three businesses. If the businesses refuse to comply, they could face closure or liability.
- Although Chicago’s Mayor, Lori Lightfoot, has not yet released a date for the city to move into Phase 3, this week she announced some industry-specific rules for reopening. For example, child care facilities will be expected to have parents and employees wear facial coverings at all times. Additionally, restaurants will not be allowed more than 6 people per table, and all tables are to be 6 feet apart. Mayor Lightfoot plans on reopening Chicago under Phase 3 in “early June.”
- Chicago’s federal district court has ordered that jury trials will not resume until August 3, 2020. Although other court appearances, such as hearings and pleas, may occur remotely, the court does not believe juror participation can be done safely until later this year. Jury participation requires large groups to be present for jury selection, and jurors typically deliberate in smaller rooms that may not allow for social distancing. The order precludes this time from counting under the Speedy Trial Act because the delay is necessary for the safety and well-being of all individuals in the courtroom.
- As previously updated, an Illinois state representative seeks to recall Governor Pritzker because of his failure to fix the issues with the state’s unemployment office. Representative Allen Skillicorn stated, “the incompetence cannot continue,” asserting that three Republican House members have already agreed to sign the ballot petition. The state constitution requires 20 members of the house and 10 state senators to sign the ballot petition, with no more than half of those signatures coming from one political party.
- Governor Pritzker has announced that data shows Illinois COVID-19 cases are in decline after the peak, just in time to move into Phase 3. Non-essential businesses were allowed to reopen for curbside and delivery service in early May, and the state’s virus cases have continued to trend downward. The Governor emphasized that while this is good news, it is important to continue a slow reopening to further prevent the spread of cases and increased hospitalizations.