Gov. Pritzker modifies Phase 3 plans, rescinds temporary emergency rule

Local News

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WEHT) – Governor Pritzker announced on Wednesday 2,388 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the total to 100,418 in the state. Additionally, the state reported 147 new deaths, bringing the total to 4,525 in Illinois. Dr. Ezike reported a decline in hospitalization and ventilator use today.

Governor Pritzker also announced Wednesday afternoon to withdraw a controversial emergency rule that threatened fines or potential jail time for business owners who defy his executive orders. 

After huddling quietly for three hours in a closed session, the six Democrats who sit on the joint committee on administrative rules emerged and joined their Republican counterparts. A representative for the Illinois Department of Public Health quickly announced the Pritzker administration has withdrawn its emergency rule. 

A separate bill that could potentially enact this measure in a more permanent manner is pending before the legislature. Pritzker urged the general assembly to pass this bill this week, as he says the law will help lessen the burden on punishment for businesses by allowing a fine or citation rather than a complete closure or revoking a license.

Additionally, Governor Pritzker announced restaurants can allow for outdoor seating in Phase 3, so long as tables are set 6 feet apart. All four regions of the state are set to enter Phase 3 on May 29th. Boating or camping with up to 10 people is also welcome in Phase 3. State parks will also open on this date.

Illinois SNAP recipients may now permanently use benefits for online purchases, including at Walmart and Amazon. These benefits will require no additional steps from recipients and will begin on June 2nd.

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(This story was originally published on May 20, 2020)

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