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Pritzker repeals emergency rule, urges lawmakers to replace it

SPRINGFIELD (WGEM) — Gov. J.B. Pritzker agreed Wednesday to repeal his emergency rule, according to Rep. Tom Demmer.

Rep. Demmer (R-Dixon) said the reason for the repeal was due to significant opposition from the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules and the public.

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Many business owners had been concerned with the emergency rule, as it states they could face a Class A Misdemeanor charge for violating stay-at-home guidelines.

The Illinois Joint Committee on Administrative Rules was to meet on Wednesday to decide the fate of the emergency rule.

Rep. Keith Wheeler (R-Oswego) said his office had received 7,000 emails and more than 1,000 voicemails over a 48-hour period, calling for the committee to suspend the rule.

"Filing these emergency rules to extend criminal penalties to businesses and individuals all over Illinois, to me, is an abuse of emergency rule-making," Wheeler said. "We should not punish those who are the backbone of our state's economy just for trying to survive."

Wheeler was planning to file a motion suspending the rule Wednesday. That would have required two Democrats to join him for the motion to pass.

The Joint Committee has six Democrats and six Republicans.

Additionally, other members of the House Republican caucus said their constituents won't consent to the governor's "heavy-handed" approach.

The emergency rule would have only lasted until the end of Phase 2 of the Restore Illinois plan. Currently, all four regions of the state are on track to move into Phase 3 on May 29. However Gov. Pritzker had previously said he planned on filing a new emergency rule at that point.

After he repealed the rule on Wednesday, Gov. Pritzker said that he was urging lawmakers to pass legislation this week to replace it.

Pritzker says he will file a new emergency rule if lawmakers can't pass a plan this week.

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Jim Roberts

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