Illinois governor adds jail time as potential penalty for business owners who defy stay-at-home order

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Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) filed an emergency rule on Friday that allows for business owners to be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for violating the state’s coronavirus stay-at-home order, the New York Times reported.

Owners of businesses such as restaurants, bars, barbershops, salons, and gyms could now face a fine up to $2,500 and up to one year in jail for operating in defiance of shutdown orders implemented in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus.

A spokesperson for Pritzker’s office told the Times that the measure was an “additional enforcement tool for businesses that refuse to comply with the most critical aspects of the stay-at-home order” and that “only businesses that pose a serious risk to public health and refuse to comply with health regulations would be issued a citation.”

“The rule gives law enforcement a tool that may be more appropriate and less severe than closing the business altogether,” the spokeswoman, Jordan Abudayyeh, said. – READ MORE

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