Local Lawmakers React to School Mask Mandate Ruling

Local Lawmakers React to School Mask Mandate Ruling

Area lawmakers have reacted to last week’s ruling to place a temporary restraining order on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s vaccine, testing, mask and quarantine mandates for schools throughout Illinois.

Rep. Dave Severin (R-Benton) said he counts the ruling as “a victory for students.”

“Our school children, teachers, and school officials have dealt with heavy handed COVID-19 mandates for far too long. I am thrilled that Judge Grischow has found the mandates to be outside of the governor’s powers,” Severin said in a press release. “I believe the court’s temporary restraining order is the right ruling, and I hope the governor will follow the lead of many other states, lift his many mandates, and drop his bid to appeal the ruling.”

Likewise, Rep. Patrick Windhorst (R-Metropolis) expressed appreciation in a separate release, saying he’s has long favored “local control and individual freedom to choose whether or not to wear a mask over top-down mandates from Governor Pritzker and the Illinois Department of Public Health.”

“I was pleased with Judge Grischow’s decision to place a temporary restraining order on Governor Pritzker’s mandate that requires teachers and children in our public schools to wear masks and be quarantined for close contact without due process,” he wrote. “I call on the governor to join the vast majority of states and withdraw his mask mandates and drop his appeal of this temporary restraining order. I applaud the school districts that have already taken action to exercise local control based on this ruling.”

“Since the beginning of the governor’s mandates, I have been steadfast in my belief that if someone wants to wear a mask, they should, and if they don’t, the government shouldn’t dictate they must,” Windhorst continued. “Our kids haven’t had a normal school day in more than 700 days, with mitigations and Executive Orders from Governor Pritzker coming with threats to defund our schools and cancel extracurricular activities for those that defy his top-down rules. This ruling is a much-needed and welcome win for school districts, teachers, and students of all ages.”

Pritzker said Monday he’s asked Attorney General Kwame Raoul to appeal the ruling, who filed an emergency appeal to the 4th District Appellate Court in Springfield.

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