| Firm News
Illinois Government Actions on Covid-19 Updated 12/5/2020
Today’s update discusses:
- All Illinois regions facing tighter COVID-19 restrictions
- Chicago Mayor’s meeting with the governor
- Governor giving Illinois State Police go-ahead to ramp up random checks
- IHSA defying governor and IPDH’s guidance regarding basketball
- Chicago funding Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership
- New COVID-19 vaccine looking for adult testers
- Kane County judge granting restaurant’s request for temporary restraining order
- Illinois Supreme Court issuing two more COVID-19-related orders
- Representative Bailey seeking to hold Governor Pritzker in contempt of court
- McHenry County judge denying a request for a temporary restraining order
- Park Ridge restaurants facing noncompliance fines and warning
- As of this week, all regions in Illinois have been placed under additional restrictions as
COVID-19 cases have continued to rise. According to Governor Pritzker, this move is crucial for addressing the surge in case numbers, but many regions are starting to push back. For example, Lincoln mayor Tracy Welch announced that the police chief and the city will not take any action against a business that makes the choice to remain open. The mayors in East Peoria, Washburn, and Princeton are also pushing back on the new rules.
- Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot originally voiced opposition to Governor Pritzker’s plan to tighten restrictions in Chicago as COVID-19 cases continue to rise. However, after meeting with the governor last week, Lightfoot stated she would not “try and block his order” within the city. As a result, Chicago joined a number of other regions across the state operating under tighter restrictions in an effort to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- Governor Pritzker has given Illinois State Police the go-ahead to ramp up random checks and hold businesses accountable if they are found to be violating COVID-19 restrictions. Several restaurant owners have already expressed disinterest in abiding by the new restrictions, resulting in the governor giving state police permission to ramp up issuing citations, potentially removing the restaurant’s liquor licenses.
- Members of the Illinois High School Association (IHSA) voted last week against following guidelines released by Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) when it comes to allowing basketball season to continue this winter. The IHSA stated basketball practices can begin the middle of November, and games can start at the end of the month. Hockey and wrestling, on the other hand, will temporarily be put on hold.
- Cook County announced a $4 million funded program, called the Chicago Cook Workforce Partnership, which will provide training and job placement for individuals in Cook County who’ve faced layoffs because of the pandemic. The program will also work with businesses negatively impacted by the pandemic in an effort to avert the layoff of additional workers.
- Another potential COVID-19 vaccine is being tested, and the University of Chicago Medicine will be looking for nearly 2,000 adults to enroll in clinical trials. According to the website, the registration for the trial is free and open to all.
- A Kane County judge granted a temporary restraining order for the restaurant FoxFire, allowing it to continue serving customers inside, despite Governor Pritzker’s new restrictions. According to Judge Busch, the Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act does not give the governor the authority to issue consecutive disaster proclamations. The judge also questioned why restaurants are being targeted while shopping stores may remain open and free from restrictions. An appeal for the governor and IDPH has been filed, asking the Second District Appellate Court to reverse the decision.
- The Illinois Supreme Court issued two orders regarding remote jury selection in civil cases and remote service of process or personal service of protective orders. The orders, which were proposed by the Illinois COVID-19 Task Force, are meant as additional ways to help courts adapt during the constantly changing circumstances surrounding the pandemic. The Remote Jury Selection Order will allow circuits to conduct jury selection in civil cases via video conference. The Court’s second Order states that if a respondent appears before a court by telephone or video, that respondent is considered served, allowing protective order cases to proceed.
- State Representative, Darren Bailey (who has filed previous and ongoing lawsuits against Governor Pritzker for his COVID-19 orders) is now asking a Sangamon County judge to find the governor in contempt of court. As previously updated, in July a Clay County judge had rejected the governor’s orders that exceeded the initial 30 days. Now, Bailey is alleging that the governor has completely disregarded that order as he continues to issue more COVID-19 related executive orders.
- Over 30 local bars and restaurants in Illinois had asked a judge in McHenry County for a temporary restraining order allowing them to remain open against the governor’s mitigation orders. In his denial of the temporary restraining order, Judge Thomas Meyer stated that “this order was not based on the mere existence of the pandemic, but rather new facts related to the pandemic.”
- Three Park Ridge restaurants were fined after defying the governor’s mitigation orders restricting indoor dining. The first violation was a $250 fine, with all subsequent violations costing $500 per day as long as they remain open. As of Monday, it was reported that two of those restaurants reverted to outdoor dining only and one closed. In addition to restaurants receiving fines, eight other restaurants have received warnings for noncompliance.