Arkansas lawmakers on Thursday voted down two bills that would have allowed school boards to implement mask mandates in certain instances, during a special session called by Gov. Asa Hutchinson for the purpose of allowing those mandates.
The House Committee on Public Health, Welfare and Labor rejected House Bill 1003 by Rep. Julie Mayberry, R-Hensley, as well as House Bill 1004 by House Minority Leader Tippi McCullough, D-Little Rock.
Hutchinson called on lawmakers to allow public schools to implement masking protocols in educational facilities where children under 12 are present amid the covid-19 pandemic.
Mayberry's bill applied to districts with a 14-day coronavirus infection rate of at least 50 new known cases per 10,000 district residents, and would limit any mask mandates to 60 days. McCullough's bill did not have those requirements.
More details in Friday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.