By Corinne Murdock |
Arizona state law now prohibits government properties from requiring masks, with the exception of areas with workplace safety and infection control measures unrelated to COVID-19.
Governor Doug Ducey signed the bill, HB2453, last Friday. Its sponsor, State Representative Neal Carter (R-Queen Creek) declared in a subsequent press release that mask-wearing shouldn’t be a prerequisite for accessing the government.
“Citizens should not be required to wear a mask to access government services,” said Carter. “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.”
Opponents of the bill, like the Arizona House Democratic Caucus, insisted that an outright ban on mask mandates contradicted scientific knowledge.
Proponents of the bill argued that masks were a choice derived from personal liberty.
The Senate didn’t have any discussion over the bill during their final vote last Tuesday. It passed along party lines, 16-12.