ELMHURST, IL — State Rep. Deanne Mazzochi, an Elmhurst Republican, denounced the governor’s statewide school mask mandate Thursday.

But she did not say whether individual school districts should enact mask requirements.

A week earlier, Elmhurst School District 205 decided to make masks optional, following an emotional debate among residents. The superintendent on Wednesday recognized the governor’s order. Besides Elmhurst, Mazzochi’s district includes all or parts of Hinsdale, Clarendon Hills and Western Springs.

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In a news release Thursday, Mazzochi said her office has been “flooded with calls of outrage” about the mandate by Gov. J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat.

“Governor Pritzker is once again not reasonably assessing the data; not following science; and proclaims he has unilateral executive powers that the legislature actually refused to give him,” Mazzochi said.

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She said the state Senate refused to give powers such as mask mandates to the governor or state agencies.

“If the Governor thinks this power is genuinely necessary for public safety, he can call us into special session and justify it with real facts and evidence and in the light of full transparency,” Mazzochi said. “Then all of our stakeholders, particularly parents and local school boards, could have a voice in any outcome, and the democratic process of government can work.”

She said Pritzker issued the mandate knowing that many regions would find it unacceptable, unnecessary and unworkable. Such decisions should be made at the local level, she said.

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