(WSIL) -- Illinois' Joint Committee on Administrative Rules met Tuesday to discuss the state's polarizing mask mandate.
The committee debated whether to make the mandate permanent in all schools and if it's an overreach of state government.
Lawmakers voted unanimously to recommend changes to the Illinois State Board of Education's school recognition status process. Members did not vote to make the mandate permanent.
Republican concerns on government overreach lay at the heart of Tuesday's discussions.
Sen. Don DeWitte (R-West Dundee) questioned ISBE's authority after it threatened to pull recognition from schools that didn't follow the mandate. Losing state recognition could result in a school's loss of state funding and ability to play sports.
ISBE officials argue the mandate is 'lawfully issued and enforceable' and strengthened by Illinois' three injunction victories against schools that refused to follow the mandate. But Republican members argued the mandate is a 'policy outside of rule'.
"I find it interesting that the bill was filed yet not heard or voted on," DeWitte said.
The committee is now recommending ISBE to expand and clarify school recognition status within 30 days. That includes providing a clearer definition of due process for schools before revoking recognition.
The committee's next meeting is Tuesday, October 19 at 10:30 a.m.