Second GOP lawmaker sues over COVID-19 shelter-in-place order

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State Representative John Cabello (R-Machesney Park)

ROCKFORD — A second GOP lawmaker has filed a lawsuit against Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s shelter-in-place executive order, this time as a class action.

According to the Rockford Register-Star, State Rep. John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) filed the suit in Winnebago County alleging that Pritzker exceeded his authority in extending the order until May 30. That’s the same allegation made by State Rep. Darren Bailey in his lawsuit in southern Illinois.

A Clay County judge issued a temporary restraining order in Bailey’s lawsuit. However, that suit only covers Bailey himself. Cabello’s lawsuit is, according to the newspaper, on his own behalf and on behalf of all people in Illinois.

The state is appealing the temporary restraining order.

“Pritzker has perverted the emergency provisions of the (Illinois Emergency Management Agency Act) in an effort to rip the sacred responsibility of the health and lives of the people away from where the legislature placed it, being local control of county health departments of the (Illinois Department of Public Health), and in doing so he took complete control of the free movement of every citizen within the state of Illinois, which for all intents and purposes has created a police state,” the lawsuit stated.

The Register-Star reported that the lawsuit aims to have the executive order voided and any subsequent orders blocked.

Prtizker called the lawsuits a “partisan endeavor” in his Tuesday press conference.

Cabello told the newspaper by phone that it wasn’t a “political stunt” and he wants lawmakers to be able to work with Pritzker on solutions that keep residents safe without the shelter-in-place order.

“Other businesses can do this in a safe manner just like the other big box stores that are open, so that the working class families that are staring bankruptcy in the face, that are staring their children in the face thinking to themselves how am I going to put food on the table, have an avenue to move forward with a common sense approach,” Cabello told the Register-Star.

Dave Vella, who is challenging Cabello for his seat, condemned the lawsuit.

“As a small business owner, I understand the difficult situation this shelter-in-place has put on so any people and local businesses in,” Vella said in a statement. “But now is not the time for self-promotion. Our community has been through so much during this crisis already. This lawsuit is reckless and seems to be about John and his politics, now our community.”

Cabello was a state co-chair for the Trump Victory Committee back in 2016.

On Wednesday, the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) announced 2,253 new cases of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in Illinois, including 92 additional deaths. The state now has 50,355 cases, including 2,215 deaths.

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