The North Dakota House of Representatives has passed a bill that will make future mask wearing in the state illegal.
Monday’s vote passed 50-44 and is now heading to the State Senate.
“Our state is not a prison camp,” said the sponsor of the bill, Rep. Jeff Hoverson.
Republican state governor Doug Burgum had put in place a mask mandate three months ago, but had previously expressed doubts as to whether the mandates were really the way to go.
The Grand Forks Herald reports that Hoverson called the mask mandates “evil nonsense”, calling them a conspiracy led by “unelected wealthy bureaucrats who steal our freedoms and perpetuate lies.”
Only one representative spoke against the bill, Republican Jason Dockter, a Republican. He argued that cities, counties, schools and businesses should have “local control” over their affairs.
“Both houses of the Legislative Assembly have demanded that masks or face shields be worn in areas of the Bismarck Capitol building under branch control, although the rule is lightly enforced and often ignored by lawmakers. House Speaker Kim Koppelman, of R-West Fargo, reminded lawmakers to wear their masks on the bedroom floor on Monday, but he noted the rule could be reviewed in the coming weeks, ”WDAY reports.