Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker’s threat to withhold federal funding for areas where local officials refuse to enforce his executive orders is pushed back by statewide law enforcement. The Governor’s stay-at-home executive order says that no area of the state is ready to reopen in May and restaurants are banned from offering dine-in service through June.
Pritzker’s placed the order to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. The deadly virus has sickened nearly 90,000 Illinoisans and has taken around 4,000 lives in the state since March. Pritzker was asked on Thursday about local police not enforcing his executive order, he responded by saying that they are putting people’s lives on the risk and should be put to liability.
He said, “…know that there were leaders in the legal community this morning that spoke about the challenges that will be brought to those local law enforcement to local governments and to businesses that are open.” Pritzker said. “They’re putting people at risk, they’re making their communities unsafe, and they’ll be subject to liability as a result.”
The Sheriffs responded to the Governor’s comments. “Illinois Sheriffs have been elected by their local citizens to keep their communities safe, a trust that every sheriff and sworn law enforcement officer holds dear,” Illinois Sheriffs Association President Jim Kaitschuk said. “It is outrageous that the Governor is threatening retaliation against these leaders and the men and women of their offices. He is insulting heroic police officers, corrections officers, and local voters.”
Pritzker threatened that the state could withhold federal funds to local governments that refuse to enforce his executive orders. Kane, Kendall, Grundy, Douglas, Ogle, and Hancock counties’ sheriffs have recently announced that they will not use their deputies to enforce Pritzker’s orders.