CHICAGO, Ill. (WAND) - Governor JB Pritzker gave fiery remarks Wednesday, addressing communities and business owners who choose to defy his stay-at-home order, promising, "There will be consequences."
Pritzker addressed Illinois politicians and community leaders who are pushing for the state to be reopened earlier than his phased five step plan. "You weren't elected to do what's easy. You were elected to do what's right."
The governor said businesses and individual professionals that are licensed by state agencies will be held accountable for breaching public health orders.
"To the small minority of businesses that choose to ignore the doctors and medical data, and to ignore your legal obligations to your communities, there will be consequences. Businesses and professions that are licensed by state agencies will be held accountable for breaching public health orders. Counties that try and reopen in defiance may not be reimbursed by FEMA for damages they cause because they ignored the law. Local law enforcement, and Illinois State Police, can and will take action."Pritzker said.
The Department of Professional Regulation will hold businesses accountable along with any licensing body, including liquor commissions.
Pritzker also said local and state police can and will take action. This is a change from his previous stance where he said he was not encouraging police to make arrests or issue citations in connection with the Stay-At-Home order.
"There is no consequence the state could impose that is greater than the harm you could do to your own community," Pritzker said.
"192 Illinoisans lost their lives to this virus in the past 24 hours... 192. How is that not real to you?" he continued.
To those elected officials who Pritzker said are "playing to the crowd that ignores science and carries symbols of hate," he said, "step up and lead. Now, more than ever, your communities need you. Don't let them down."