Gilchrist asks GOP leaders for mask mandate in Legislature


FILE – In this Sept. 10, 2020, file photo, provided by the Michigan Office of the Governor, Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II, accompanied by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, right, speaks during an address to the state in Lansing, Mich. Michigan reported Monday, Sept. 28, 2020 that Black residents are no longer being disproportionately infected and killed by the coronavirus, after they accounted for a staggering 40% of deaths and 29% of cases in the early days of the pandemic. Gilchrist credits people of color for being more likely to wear masks and follow safety guidelines. (Michigan Office of the Governor via AP File)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist II is calling for Republican legislative leaders to enact and enforce a mask requirement inside the House and Senate chambers. He said Wednesday he fears for the safety of his family and others when lawmakers do not wear a face covering.

The Democrat presides over session in the Senate, which will return Thursday to start passing bills following a Michigan Supreme Court ruling that invalidated Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s coronavirus orders. The Legislature has been seen as exempt from the Whitmer administration’s mask requirements due to the separation of powers. Though legislators have been encouraged to wear masks, many Republicans do not or remove them for extended periods.

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