With state officials trying to discourage businesses from reopening in violation of the ongoing stay-at-home order, Gov. J.B. Pritzker has reportedly instituted new punishments for those facilities that defy the order.
Elsewhere in the state, officials are scrambling after a “glitch” reportedly exposed the private data of contractors and 1099 workers who field for unemployment assistance amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Here are the latest coronavirus headlines for today (May 17):
Pritzker Reportedly Institutes New Enforcement Tool in Stay-at-Home Order Saga
With businesses across the state contemplating opening their doors in defiance of the ongoing stay-at-home order, the governor has reportedly issued a new order that will allow businesses to be charged with a Class A misdemeanor for violations.
According to the reports, businesses that open their doors too soon could face fines between $75 and $2,500 for violating the stay-at-home order. While state Republicans have decried the order as an overreach by the governor, Pritzker’s attorneys say the new order is actually less harsh than other punishments being explored, including revoking business licenses and withholding FEMA grants.
Unemployment System Exposes Data of Contractors
According to a report from WBEZ, an Illinois Department of Employment Security website showed claimants’ Social Security numbers and other data.
Pritzker spokeswoman Jordan Abudayyeh said the error made information public for only a “short time” and was immediately fixed, blaming a “glitch” in the computer system.
Contractors only recently were allowed to file for unemployment benefits, as federal funding from the CARES Act allowed for those filing 1099 tax forms for income to apply for benefits.