SPRINGFIELD — State Rep. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) was removed from the Illinois House’s session on Wednesday after he refused to put on a mask.
The State Journal-Register in Springfield reported that most other representatives wore masks on the floor of the Bank of Springfield Center except to eat box lunches.
The House is meeting at the Bank of Springfield Center instead of the state capitol to allow for social distancing.
Bailey, who has opposed LGBTQ-friendly laws in the past, has been vocal in his opposition to many of the orders issued by Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker to limit the spread of coronavirus. Last month, he sued Pritzker over the stay-at-home order. He later vacated the temporary restraining order he won in the case. He wasn’t wearing a mask when he came in through the building’s public entrance through a crowd of anti-quarantine protesters.
According to the newspaper, representatives voted for new House rules to follow while in session during the COVID-19 pandemic with a 97-12 vote. The rules include wearing a face covering, adhering to a six-foot distance, agreeing to a temperature check when entering the building and other precautions.
When asked if he would put on a mask, he reportedly said, “I will not, thank you.”
The House voted, 81-27, in favor of removing Bailey from the floor for not following the rules and he was escorted out the back doors of the convention center floor, according to the Journal-Register.
The newspaper said that 109 of the 118 House members were present for the session.
About 250 people protesting the restrictions marched between the state capitol and the convention center, the newspaper reported. The Journal-Register published photos where none of the protesters were wearing masks or keeping distance from each other. Bailey was cheered as he walked into the BoS Center.
This time, there was only one protester with an anti-Semitic sign reading “J.B. Hitler must go.” That person was confronted by House GOP leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs), according to the newspaper.