ROCKFORD — State Rep. John Cabello said he will file a lawsuit challenging Gov. JB Pritzker’s extended stay-at-home order.


A judge in Clay County in southern Illinois ruled against Pritzker in a similar lawsuit on Monday, and State Attorney General Kwame Raoul quickly filed a notice to appeal on the governor’s behalf.


Cabello, a Republican from Machesney Park, said his lawsuit would differ slightly from the one filed by Rep. Darren Bailey, a Republican from Xenia, which is nearly 300 miles south of Rockford. Bailey’s lawsuit, which will be appealed in the 5th District Appellate Court, only applied to the lawmaker himself. Cabello aims to apply his suit to everyone in Illinois.


"I want to see if what the governor is doing by extending his order is constitutional," Cabello said.


Bailey had argued that Pritzker’s emergency authority only lasts for 30 days. The governor’s statewide stay-at-home order has been in effect since March 21.


Attorney Thomas DeVore, who represented Bailey, is also working on Cabello’s behalf. Cabello said he plans to file the lawsuit in Winnebago County.


"It appears to me to be some partisan endeavor at a moment when, frankly, political parties shouldn't matter at all," Pritzker said during his daily news conference in Chicago when asked about Cabello’s planned lawsuit. "We should be focused on simply doing what's best for our people, keeping them safe and healthy."


Cabello used Pritzker’s comments as an opportunity to attack the governor on another issue, the governor’s decision to release thousands of state prison inmates early because of COVID-19 fears. Roughly 3,900 inmates have been released since March 1, according to the Associated Press, but reasons for their release was not given. Pritzker estimated Monday that about 1,300 were released because of COVID-19.


GOP lawmakers have been pushing for more details on how release decisions were made.


"I’m not the one that has unleashed over 50 murderers on the population early. If he wants people to follow the law, maybe he should start with himself," Cabello said. "This guy didn’t even have the common decency to make sure those victims’ families were aware, like the law says he has to."


Cabello said Pritzker’s stay-at-home order has made economic winners and losers because it allows large box stores like Target and Walmart to operate while small businesses cannot. He said small businesses should be able to operate with safety precautions in place.


"I’m not trying to put anybody in harm’s way here," Cabello said. "I’m just wanting to see that some of this stuff starts making common sense."


Pritzker, a Democrat, said the lawsuits are "just shameful acts on the part of these partisan actors." He said the state shouldn’t have to waste time "on these ridiculous lawsuits."


"We have so much to do to keep people safe," he said.


Chris Kaergard of the Peoria Journal Star contributed to this report.


Kevin Haas: khaas@rrstar.com; @KevinMHaas