You are currently viewing Hutchinson, Top Lawmakers to Meet on Mask Mandate Ban

Hutchinson, Top Lawmakers to Meet on Mask Mandate Ban

Gov. Asa Hutchinson is meeting with House and Senate on Monday to talk about schools requiring masks as Arkansas leads the country in Covid-19 infections.

The Republican governor said he planned to discuss the issue Tuesday with the GOP leaders of the state House and Senate, following calls from Democratic lawmakers and others to lift a state law banning mask mandates by state and local governments. 

The Little Rock School Board passed a resolution to urge the lifting of the mask ban Monday Night.

Arkansas’ virus cases have been surging in recent weeks, fueled by the delta variant and the state’s low vaccination rate. The state’s deaths rose to 6,077. The number of people hospitalized rose by 61 to 980. The state’s virus cases increased by 621 to 375,971.

Hutchinson, who has been touring the state encouraging people to get the shots, received an at-times hostile reception during his latest town hall Monday. At one point, state epidemiologist Jennifer Dillaha was shouted at when she said there’s no evidence the vaccine causes infertility.

Hutchinson in April signed the legislation banning mask mandates by local or state governments, a month after he lifted Arkansas’ statewide mask requirement.

Senate President Jimmy Hickey said he thinks there’s openness among lawmakers to revisiting the issue for schools, but said there’s uncertainty of how to do it and whether there are enough votes to enact such a change quickly.

See the full article from Arkansas Business here.