Blaine Wilhour

GOP State Lawmaker Sues Over Illinois Capitol Mask Requirements

A Republican state lawmaker has filed a lawsuit against the Illinois house speaker over face mask requirements at the state Capitol.

State Rep. Blaine Wilhour of Beecher City sued in Bond County after he and eight other Republican legislators were recently barred from the House floor for refusing to wear masks in violation of House rules, according to The (Springfield) State Journal-Register. Most later participated remotely.

After being removed from the House floor last Thursday, Wilhour called it a “total lack of common sense.”

Jaclyn Driscoll, a spokeswoman for House Speaker Emanuel “Chris” Welch, accused Republicans of using the House chamber as a “stage for political theater on the taxpayer’s dime.”

Driscoll declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Illinois has been under an indoor mask mandate, which will be lifted later this month except for in schools as COVID-19 cases drop. Last week, a 4th District Appellate Court invalidated Gov. J.B. Pritzker's orders for masks in schools and other COVID-19 protections. Pritzker, a Democrat, plans to ask the state Supreme Court to review the ruling.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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