AUGUSTA — Most of the 130th legislative session committee work has been done virtually.
As a result, many bills need to be reviewed by the full legislature.
However, that work was put to a halt Wednesday morning.
“I will simply be disobeying today. It’s my decision and right to do. I will accept any consequences that arise from that,” said Rep. John Andrews, a Libertarian from Paris.
House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, a Democrat from Biddeford, immediately called for a break.
From there, the House Committee on Ethics met to discuss Andrews’ actions
“I am in compliance with the governor and the CDC guidelines,” said Andrews. “Maine was open this past weekend and the mask mandate has been lifted.”
Rep. Kathleen Dillingham, a Republican from Oxford, said while she was one of the people to vote against the mask policy, rules are rules.
“The Legislative Committee has the ability to set the rules and regulations for this building,” said Dillingham.
Rep. Ralph Tucker, a Democratic from Brunswick, opened the floor for discussion.
“Most of us do not want to punish. We are here to obtain voluntary compliance,” said Tucker.
Ultimately, lawmakers decided Rep. Andrews would be voluntarily removed from the House chamber, which he accepted.
Andrews said his actions give a voice to his constituents.
“Enough is enough. It’s time to draw a line in the sand for them. And I am willing to toe that line. Fight for them,” said Andrews. “And take whatever consequences that come my way because somebody has to do it.”