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Rep. Darren Bailey removed from house floor for not wearing face mask

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Rep. Darren Bailey at a Reopen Illinois rally outside the Illinois Capitol. (File Photo)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (CHICAGO TRIBUNE) — The Illinois House voted Wednesday to remove Republican state Rep. Darren Bailey from session at the Bank of Springfield center Wednesday afternoon after he refused to comply with a facial-covering requirement in newly-adopted House rules.

In a bipartisan vote, the Illinois House adopted rules on Wednesday that include a requirement for members, staff members and visitors to the special session to wear a face-covering over their nose and mouth, if they are medically able to do so.

Democratic Rep. Emanuel “Chris” Welch made a motion to remove Bailey from the House proceedings after Bailey responded “I will not,” when he was asked to come into compliance with the face covering requirement in the newly-adopted rules. The House voted 81-27 in favor of Bailey’s removal.

Divisions among House Republicans emerged over the face-covering requirement.

Prior to session reconvening after caucus on Wednesday, House Republican Leader Jim Durkin, who was wearing a mask spoke for several minutes with unmasked Rep. Darren Bailey.

When the House returned to session, Durkin urged all members to comply with the new rules.

“We cannot ignore nor compromise the health and safety of every member of the General Assembly, their family members, every one of our staffers who works tirelessly for us,” Durkin said.

The exception to the new face covering rule for the special session is when members are eating or drinking, and then it is recommended they stay at their individual table.

By Jamie Munks

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