Andrew Demillo / APRepublican state Sen. Bob Ballinger, right, speaks to the Senate at the Arkansas Capitol in Little Rock, on Jan. 19. The Senate voted Wednesday to prohibit the governor from imposing mask mandates. (Andrew Demillo / AP)
The Arkansas Senate voted to permanently block the state’s governor from ever imposing another mask mandate.
The bill now moves to the state’s House of Representatives.
The measure was approved by the Senate on Wednesday, one day after Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson allowed the statewide mask mandate to expire after it was initially put in place in July 2020.
Hutchinson said it was unlikely he’d reimpose the mandate, but he did not rule it out.
To make sure a government-mandated mask edict can never be imposed again, the Senate voted 20-9 to ban all mandatory face-covering requirements, citing the undue burden they place on the public.
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