Senator says taxpayers need protection as governor warns of potential lawsuits against schools that don’t follow COVID-19 rules

(The Center Square) – Instead of warning schools of possible lawsuits that could cost taxpayers if they don’t follow CDC COVID-19 guidance, a state Senator says the governor should be working to find solutions.

School districts across the state have been deciding on a local level whether to require masks, or to make them optional. That was based on previous guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that said vaccinated people can go without wearing a mask, even in schools.

Then the CDC changed the guidance this week, recommending masks for everyone in school, despite vaccination status.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker said districts could face lawsuits if they fail to follow the guidelines.

“School districts are potentially going to be held liable if they don’t live up to the standard that is set by the CDC and by the state,” Pritzker said Wednesday at a separate event in Chicago. “And so school districts need to decide if they’re going to, at this moment, if they’re going to be subject to liability for not following those recommendations.”

State Sen. Jason Plummer, R-Edwardsville, said that’s not leadership.

“The governor should not be turning this into open season on hard-working Illinoisans who have been put in difficult circumstances. He should be finding solutions for them,” Plummer said in an interview. “A reasonable solution is liability protections.”

Plummer said the governor’s comments seem to be calling open season for trail layers that could cost taxpayers.

“It’s something that you can’t even calculate,” Plummer said. The exposure is almost limitless and there are sharks circling looking to take advantage of this.”

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Plummer and others have been pushing for liability protections for the public and private sectors without success. Plummer said those acting in good faith in the public and private sector should be protected from frivolous lawsuits that could stem from COVID-19 cases.

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