State Watch

Illinois House removed GOP rep from legislative session after he refused to wear a mask: ‘A callous disregard for life’

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The Illinois state House reportedly voted to remove a Republican lawmaker from a legislative session Wednesday after he refused to comply with a requirement for lawmakers to wear a mask during the special session. 

The state House voted 81-27 to remove Rep. Darren Bailey after he refused to put a face mask on following the chamber voting to adopt the rule, NBC Chicago reported

“I can not sit in there and be part of just a puppet game,” Bailey told reporters after he was removed from the session. 

Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) rebuked Bailey for not wearing a mask. 

“The representative has shown a callous disregard for life, callous disregard for people’s health,” Pritzker reportedly said. “You just [ask] a doctor [to] tell you why people wear masks in the first place. It’s to protect others. So clearly, the representative has no interest in protecting others.”

The vote was bipartisan, with several House Republicans voting in favor of removing their colleague. 

“We cannot ignore nor compromise the health and safety of every member in the General Assembly, their family members, and every one of our staffers who work tirelessly for us,” House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said, according to NBC Chicago. 

Bailey told reporters outside the session he had also refused to take a coronavirus test, according to NBC Chicago. The outlet noted tests were not required, but lawmakers were reportedly asked to take a test. 

Other Republican state lawmakers reportedly threatened not to wear masks, but later conceded that they would if the rule were adopted.

Tags Coronavirus Darren Bailey face masks Illinois PPE stay-at-home order
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