Illinois Lawmaker's Refusal to Wear Mask Has Consequences

State Rep. Darren Bailey is pulled from the legislative session
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted May 21, 2020 7:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – The Illinois House voted to temporarily remove GOP Rep. Darren Bailey on Wednesday for refusing to wear a mask. Earlier Wednesday, the House had adopted a rule requiring attendees of the special session to wear a face covering over their nose and mouth, if medically able. "I will not," responded Bailey, who sued Gov. J.B. Pritzker in April over his extended stay-at-home order, which requires face coverings in certain public settings, per the Chicago Tribune. Rep. Chris Welch, a Democrat, then made a motion to remove Bailey from the proceedings, as the rule allowed. Several Republicans joined in passing it with an 81-27 vote.

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"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, per NBC Chicago. Bailey later told reporters that he had also refused to take a coronavirus test, which was requested of lawmakers but optional. He said he was "representing the people and saying enough is enough," per CNN. Prior to the session, House Speaker Michael Madigan said lawmakers, staff, and visitors would be required to wear masks and submit to temperature checks "prior to entering the building each day." Bailey's removal will last until he complies with the rule. (Read more coronavirus stories.)

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