AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Legislative leaders are keeping in place a mask requirement for the State House, despite Republican opposition.
The Legislative Council on Thursday took no further action on the mask mandate, despite an uproar among Republicans who say lawmakers shouldn't be subjected to different rules than the public.
The governor has lifted requirements for masks indoors, though businesses can choose to continue requiring them.
On Monday, seven Republicans defied the rule by entering the State House without masks. House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, a Democrat, responded by stripping them of their committee assignments.
Fecteau said he has received “veiled threats” over the decision and that he was still unwavering in the decision to keep the mask rule. And some GOP lawmakers are vowing to continue to flout the rules.
“We will not have a House that is not in order,” Fecteau said, referencing a common order of the presiding officer of the chamber.
Rep. Chris Johansen, R-Monticello, one of the seven lawmakers who were punished for wearing masks, said he was exploring whether legal action could be taken against Fecteau.