She Refused to Mask Up, Now State Senator Can't Work

Alaska State senator Lora Reinbold wants to be excused from votes after Alaska Airlines ban
By Josh Gardner,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 12, 2021 8:30 AM CDT
Anti-Mask Lawmaker Banned From Airline Can't Get to Work
Alaska state Sen. Lora Reinbold sits in a Senate gallery in Juneau   (AP Photo/Becky Bohrer, Pool, File)

(Newser) – An Alaska state senator who made headlines for refusing to wear a mask and getting banned from flying Alaska Airlines now finds herself in a pickle: she can't make it to work. Per the Anchorage Daily News, Lora Reingold, a Republican from Eagle River, has asked to be excused from votes at the capitol because getting to Juneau has become impossible for her in the wake of the ban. As we reported following her ban in April, Reingold at one point drove through part of Canada and took a ferry to reach the state's capital. Per the Washington Post, Alaska Airlines is the only carrier offering flights between Anchorage, a suburb of which Reingold represents, and Juneau. Delta's service between the cities reportedly ended Sept. 11.

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"If the only airline, that has flights during session to Juneau, can unconstitutionally impede a legislators ability to get to the Capital in a safe and timely fashion, it could undermine our representative republic," Reingold argued on Facebook on Sept. 9. Reinbold was recorded in April at the Juneau International Airport speaking with Alaska Airlines staff about mask policies. A video posted on social media by the Alaska Landmine political blog appears to show airline staff telling Reinbold her mask must cover her nose and mouth. A week later, she was banned, per the AP. “We have notified Senator Lora Reinbold that she is not permitted to fly with us for her continued refusal to comply with employee instruction regarding the current mask policy,” spokesman Tim Thompson told the Anchorage Daily News at the time. (Read more face masks stories.)

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