(USA Today) – Long-simmering disputes over coronavirus restrictions in the Legislature boiled over Thursday when the Democratic majority voted to punish Republican lawmakers for refusing to comply with rules in place to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Under rules announced Wednesday, people in the state Capitol can roam the building without face coverings as long as they have been vaccinated. Republican Assemblywomen Annie Black and Jill Dickman went mask-free on the Assembly floor Thursday but refused to make known whether they had received COVID-19 shots.
Dickman was escorted out of the Assembly floor after staff told her that she would have to prove she had been vaccinated. She refused.
In a party-line vote, the Assembly elected to strip Black of her right to vote on measures and address the chamber until she apologized for violating legislative rules. She remained on the Assembly floor.
“This is WAY out of control!” Black tweeted after the incident.
Democratic Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson said the Assembly rules allowed people to forgo masks but required they wear them if they have not been vaccinated.
“We were informed that there were persons who had not confirmed they were vaccinated and would not wear masks, so they didn’t comply with our rules,” he said.