Arizona Governor Doug Ducey (R) signed a bill recently banning mask mandates on Arizona government property.
“Citizens should not be required to wear a mask to access government services,” said the State Representative Neal Carter (R-Phoenix), who sponsored the measure.” This law prevents policy setting by unelected bureaucrats which, in my own experience, led to the public being denied entry to some county buildings that continued to impose mask requirements long after such mandates had been widely dispensed with or prohibited around the state.”
House Bill (HB) 2453 received “unanimous support from House and Senate Republicans.”
“A governmental entity may not impose any requirement to wear a mask or face covering anywhere on the governmental entity’s premises, except where longstanding workplace safety and infection control measures that are unrelated to COVID-19 may be required.” According to the bill text, “for the purposes of this section, ‘governmental entity’ means this state and any political subdivision of this state, including the judiciary, that receives and uses state tax revenues.”
This bill follows a trail of laws ending mask mandates across the state. In April, Ducey signed into law HB 2616, sponsored by State Rep. Joseph Chaplik (R-Scottsdale), which banned mask mandates for minors without parental consent.
“Notwithstanding any other law, this state, any political subdivision of this state, any other governmental entity, any school district or any charter school may not require that a mask or face covering be worn by a person under 18 years of age without the express consent of the person’s parent or guardian,” the bill’s text states.
That bill was signed after Ducey’s past attempts at banning mask mandates fell short. Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Katherine Cooper ruled that the legislation trying to ban mask mandates was unconstitutional.
Furthermore, mask mandates around the nation have started lifting. Significantly, in April, a Florida judge ruled that mask mandates for public transportation, such as planes or trains, are unlawful. The Biden administration soon followed, announcing that it would no longer enforce the federal mask mandate on public transportation.
Meanwhile, some areas of the country have reinstated mask mandates. Two recent school systems in San Diego and Philadelphia brought mask mandates back recently citing climbing COVID case numbers.
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Neil Jones is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and Star News Media. Follow Neil on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Photo “Doug Ducey” by Gage Skidmore. CC BY-SA 2.0. Background Photo “Arizona State Capitol” by Wars. CC BY-SA 3.0.