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GOP Candidates Oppose New COVID Masking Guidelines

CARBONDALE – Republicans who hope to unseat Gov. JB Pritzker next year say his new masking and vaccination guidelines are an over-reach, and the decisions should be left to local control.

Pritzker announced Wednesday that all students and staff members in schools must wear face coverings effective immediately, regardless of their vaccination status, in order to stave off the continued spread of the COVID-19 virus. He also gave state employees who work in prisons, veterans’ homes and other congregant facilities to be fully vaccinated against the virus by October 4.

State Senator Darren Bailey says he’s leaving all options on the table in his fight against the mask mandate for Pre-K-through-12th grade schools — including filing another lawsuit against the governor.

“I am sick and tired of this tyrannical rule that is infringing on the freedoms of everyone in the state of Illinois, and is certainly affecting our freedom across this nation,” said Bailey in a Wednesday afternoon online news conference.

Bailey says one size does not fit all in Illinois.

“If you want to wear the mask, if parents want to send their children to school with a mask, they should wear the mask,” said Bailey. “If a school board wants to mandate masks for a school, then so be it – they can do that. The parents can step up, and push back. But it’s up to the school board to represent the majority of the parents.”

Meanwhile, former State Senator Paul Schimpf and businessman Gary Rabine are also opposed to the new guidelines and mandates.

Shimpf says they are inconsistent with civil liberties, and infringe on the local control parents and school boards should have.

Rabine says a one-size-fits-all approach doesn’t work, and he wants control returned to the local level.

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Illinois Public Radio

Illinois Public Radio

Illinois Newsroom gets stories from public radio stations from across the state, including WBEZ-Chicago, WCBU-Peoria, WGLT-Normal, WVIK-Rock Island, WIUM-Macomb, WNIJ-DeKalb, WSIU-Carbondale, WUIS-Springfield, and St. Louis Public Radio.

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