The Arkansas Senate voted to permanently block the state’s governor from ever imposing another mask mandate.
The bill now moves to the state’s House of Representatives.
The measure was approved by the Senate on Wednesday, one day after Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson allowed the statewide mask mandate to expire after it was initially put in place in July 2020.
Hutchinson said it was unlikely he’d reimpose the mandate, but he did not rule it out.
To make sure a government-mandated mask edict can never be imposed again, the Senate voted 20-9 to ban all mandatory face-covering requirements, citing the undue burden they place on the public.
“The requirement of face coverings is no longer necessary to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Arkansas and is a burden on the public peace, health, and safety of the citizens of this state,” the bill declared.
Republican Sen. Trent Garner, who sponsored the bill, said it was necessary to prevent government overreach on the civil liberties of Arkansas residents.
“What this bill does is make sure we don’t have that happen again, by executive order or by government fiat,” Garner said, according to The Associated Press.
Garner said the legislation would not affect the ability of private businesses to make their own rules about requiring masks inside their establishments. His main concern was preventing government overreach.
However, Hutchinson said he would veto the bill because he believes it would prevent private businesses from being allowed to impose their own rules about mask usage.
“The bill is pointless, except it would prohibit private businesses, schools and hospitals from requirements for face coverings,” Hutchinson said in a statement, according to the AP.
“This is not a good idea, and I would veto the bill in its current form.”
There’s a growing movement of lawmakers around the country who have rejected mask mandates, saying they’re unconstitutional and do little to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
Last week, Alaska’s Republican governor, Mike Dunleavy, essentially told President Joe Biden to take a hike in response to the Democrat’s insistence on a one-size-fits-all mask mandate.
The governor apparently has no intention of cooperating with the Biden administration on this issue. https://t.co/77COgMPmRZ
— The Western Journal (@WestJournalism) March 30, 2021
The irony of this disingenuous performance theater is that while Democrats demand that Americans submit to mask mandates and get the coronavirus vaccine, they’re inviting armies of unmasked, unvaccinated illegal aliens to flood the country every day.
Some Democrats, such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, are even demanding that taxpayers pay reparations to migrants who are openly defying U.S. sovereignty and breaking federal immigration laws to sneak into the country.
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