Rep. Cabello sounds the alarm on new criminalization of non-compliance with health rules; calls on legislature to take action

State Representative John M. Cabello (R-Machesney Park) is publicly objecting to rule changes made by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) that criminalizes non-compliance with IDPH regulations. The changes would empower local health officials to “…institute prosecutions or proceedings…” against violators of health rules. It also directs county State’s Attorneys to “…prosecute all persons…violating or refusing to obey the rules and regulations of the Department of Public Health”.

The rule changes also call for heavy fines and charges under a Class A Misdemeanor for any violators. Additionally, the rule under 20 ILCS 2305/2(k) states: “Any person who knowingly or maliciously disseminates any false information or report concerning the existence of any dangerously contagious or infectious disease in connection with the Department’s power of quarantine, isolation or closure order is guilty of a Class A Misdemeanor”.

“The Constitution of the United States is under siege here in Illinois,” Representative Cabello said. “We have a dictator Governor who is weaponizing our Department of Public Health to treat our citizens like criminals. The pure irony lies in the fact that the Governor is doing this at the same time that he is commuting sentences for murderers and rapists. The greatest danger today from the COVID-19 is the alternative universe that is being created here in Illinois.”

“People are resisting because they view the Governor’s Restore Illinois plan, and his general approach to the COVID-19 health crisis, as a hodgepodge of arbitrary rules and restrictions placed on citizens and businesses by a hypocritical leader,” Cabello added. “Recall the news stories about the Governor’s wife traveling to Florida while the rest of us are being told to lockdown. Now we are hearing that the Governor’s family has been up in Wisconsin too. In another case of irony those two states have been easing their restrictions.”

“I think our Governor needs to look in the mirror when he starts to criticize the people of Illinois for their lack of compliance and confidence in his approach to the COVID-19. Telling a family of four who just drove in the same car to the boat dock that only two of them at a time can be on a boat is not only stupid, it is just one example of things that undermine confidence in the way the entire issue is being handled. Perhaps the Governor should travel to Florida with his family next time and get some advice from their Governor,” Cabello concluded.

Representative Cabello serves the 68th District, which includes portions of Rockford, Loves Park, Machesney Park and Cherry Valley.