Maskless lawmaker muzzled by Assembly vote

(Bill Dentzer | Las Vegas Review-Journal) – As bills moved haltingly through the Legislature on Thursday ahead of an end-of-week deadline for passage, the Assembly voted along party lines to sanction one of its own for flouting house rules on mask-wearing and social distancing on the floor.

The censure, which muzzled the offending lawmaker and blocked her from voting but did not remove her from chambers, came amid votes to decriminalize routine traffic tickets and limiting the use of no-knock warrants in the Assembly. The Senate convened but went into an extended afternoon recess until early evening.

The vote on sanctioning Assemblywoman Annie Black, R-Mesquite, followed remarks the firebrand first-term lawmaker made on the floor Tuesday, removing her mask and challenging continued use of them in the Legislature in the wake of relaxed guidance issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Black has agitated over pandemic restrictions during the session, pushing back on social distancing guidance and other limitations that saw the legislative building closed to the public for most of the session.

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