Iowa Republicans stand firm against mask warrants in schools

The Republican governor of Arkansas backs off the ban on mandatory masks this week, but Republicans in Iowa said Wednesday they were sticking to their law banning schools and local governments from imposing terms mask.

“The governor is proud of the bill she signed,” Gov. Kim Reynolds spokesman Pat Garrett wrote in an email. “[She] thinks these decisions are best left to parents.

Reynolds enacted the House 847 dossier in late May, immediately rescinding school mask requirements for the final weeks of the school year. Iowa House and Senate leaders have agreed that they do not plan to change the law to allow mask warrants as re-entry approaches and the delta variant of COVID-19 is spreading.

“Senate Republicans have consistently implemented policies to give parents more control over their children’s education, including whether or not their child wears a mask,” wrote Senate Majority Leader Jack. Whitver. “I do not foresee any modification of this law. “

Arkansas governor reverses course for young children

The Arkansas legislature passed a law in April that banned state agencies, local governments, and officials from requiring masks.

But on Tuesday, Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson reneged on his previous commitment to the bill. He said he regretted enacting it and called lawmakers back for an “extraordinary session,” asking them to create an exception for local entities to require masks for children under 12, who cannot not yet be vaccinated.

“Some argue that it should be up to parents to decide for the children. Because of this, school boards will have many options after listening to parents, ”Hutchinson said in a statement. “The goal is to be safe and to keep schools open. Local flexibility will help us achieve this.

Hutchinson raised specific concerns about the delta variant of COVID-19 and the growing number of Arkansas children in hospital.

Other states double up against masks

Iowa is one of many Republican-controlled states to ban local mask requirements. Last week, the governors of Texas and Florida issued executive orders prohibiting local entities from requiring masks.

“[Texans] have the individual right and responsibility to decide for themselves and their children whether they will wear masks, open their businesses and engage in leisure activities, ”Texas Governor Greg Abbott said in a press release .

President Joe Biden on Tuesday condemned the executive orders, telling the governors of Texas and Florida to “get away from people who are trying to do the right thing.”

Some school districts in other states have chosen to require masks despite the law. The Tampa news station WFLA reported that two Florida school districts voted Tuesday to demand masks, potentially endangering their public funding.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that everyone, vaccinated or not, wearing masks indoors where there is “high” or “substantial” spread of the virus.

What are the laws in Iowa on mask warrants?

Reynolds signed 847 house file in law in the early hours of May 20. This is what it does:

  • Schools may not require employees, students or visitors to wear masks, unless the mask is “necessary for a specific extracurricular or educational purpose”.
  • Counties cannot adopt any policy requiring people to wear masks in companies.
  • Cities cannot adopt any policy requiring people to wear masks in companies.
  • Companies may still require masks – the decision is left to the business owner.

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