SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WTVO) — Illinois legislators voted against an emergency rule to extend Illinois’ school mask mandate after a judge issued a temporary restraining order on Gov. JB Pritzker’s Executive Order.

The Joint Committee on Administrative Rules, a bipartisan legislative oversight committee, objected to the emergency rule filed Monday night by the Illinois Department of Public Health, which would have forced schools to enforce mask while the legal standing of Pritzker’s Executive Order is under appeal in appellate court.

On Friday, February 4th, a judge in Sangamon County on Friday ruled against Governor JB Pritzker’s mask mandate in schools.

The judge’s ruling was in response to lawsuits from parents and teachers from over 150 school districts.

Governor Pritzker has vowed to appeal, but many school districts aren’t waiting on the legalities.

Sen. Bill Cunningham (D-18th) asked why IDPH was enforcing masks in schools that have lifted their mask mandate after the temporary restraining order was issued.

An IDPH official said the agency felt it was better to press on with the mandate than leave a gap in the rule while they await a ruling from the appellate court.

“You’re doubling down on an executive order that, according to legal opinion, is violating parents and staff due process,” Sen. Sue Rezin (R-38th) said.

Masks will no longer be required for Rockton or Roscoe students starting Tuesday, but are now optional. That was the decision made by the Rockton and Kinnikinnick School Districts. Both school districts are still encouraging the use of masks.

Oregon School District, Dixon Public Schools, and the Meridian School District (Stillman Valley) already announced that they will no longer require students to wear masks.

Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) responded to the ruling with a statement, saying, “Today my colleagues and I on the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) voted 9-0-2 to suspend the Illinois Department of Public Health emergency rules requiring masks to be worn in schools. This rule had previously been declared null and void by a Sangamon County court, but that ruling was being appealed by the Governor and Attorney General. Additionally, the Governor has indicated he will be removing the indoor mask mandate in stores, restaurants, bars, etc—but he had filed a new 150-day emergency rule to require masking in schools. Today’s vote repeals that rule.”

Pritzker released a response to the ruling:

“The administration understands that members of the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules are awaiting a ruling from the appellate court on this issue. As doctors have said time and again, masks ae the best way to preserve in-person learning and keep children and staff safe. We look forward to continuing to work with members of the General Assembly, school districts, parents, communities and all stakeholders to use the tools we have to keep in-person learning. In the meantime, the administration urges all schools and parents to encourage mask-wearing to keep everyone in their schools and communities safe.”