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Pritzker responds to Illinois county ignoring orders

(The Center Square) – Gov. J.B. Pritzker is responding to a report that another Illinois county will not enforce the latest COVID-19 restrictions.

The McHenry County State’s Attorney’s Office says that it will not enforce an executive order by Pritzker shutting down indoor dining amid rising coronavirus numbers, citing questions about the legitimacy of the governor’s actions.

In a news release, the office said it “cannot in good conscience” enforce the rules on indoor dining, which Pritzker implemented as part of a statewide set of mitigations he said is aimed at curbing the rising numbers of coronavirus infections.

“Surprising that a state’s attorney doesn’t want to follow the law,” Pritzker said. “These are the laws of the state of Illinois and other jurisdictions are following the law and prosecuting.”

Illinois courts have largely sided with the governor in lawsuits filed over various restrictions, with courts in McHenry, Cook and DuPage counties denying requests for temporary restraining orders when establishments files suit over the governor’s plan to prohibit indoor dining in October.

Pritzker has warned of the potential consequences for businesses that choose to stay open in defiance of state mandates, saying that licenses could be pulled in those cases.

During his daily COVID-19 briefing Wednesday, Pritzker also announced the state will reduce the amount to be borrowed from the Federal Reserve’s Municipal Liquidity Facility from $5 billion to $2 billion.

“I believe it would be irresponsible to borrow that entire amount given the persistent fiscal pain it would cause over the next three years as we would struggle to repay that entire amount,” he said.

As for addressing the over $4 billion dollar deficit in the state’s budget, Pritzker said raising taxes is not the first step.

Pritzker has said that new revenue sources are being explored because cuts alone cannot resolve state government’s structural spending imbalance.

Also during Wednesday’s briefing, the Illinois Department of Public Health announced 11,378 new coronavirus cases and 155 additional deaths. That is a total of 685,467 cases, including 11,832 deaths.

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