Arkansas lawmakers vote to prevent mask mandate’s return


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas lawmakers are advancing a plan to prevent the state from reimposing a mask mandate to prevent the spread of the coronavirus after Gov. Asa Hutchinson lifted it.

The Senate on Wednesday approved legislation that prohibits mandatory face coverings, sending the measure to the House. A day earlier, Hutchinson lifted the mask mandate he imposed last year.

Hutchinson has not ruled out the possibility of reinstating the mandate, but has said it’s unlikely.

An opponent of the measure said the bill was written so broadly that it could be viewed as private businesses’ or local governments’ mask mandates.

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