Anti-mask mandate bill passes through the Senate
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The Senate has passed the anti-mask mandate bill, HB 1323, that’s been garnering a lot of attention lately and even drew a crowd to the Capitol steps on Monday, April 5.
After barely passing the House and receiving a do not pass recommendation from its Senate committee, the anti-mask mandate bill’s future looked bleak.
But a last minute amendment saved its life and it passed with a 30 - 17 margin.
The original bill would’ve made mask mandates illegal.
After complaints from businesses and school boards, lawmakers decided to allow them, along with county and city governments, to still enact mask mandates if they see fit.
That means the amended bill only puts limitations on statewide elected officials, like Gov. Doug Burgum, R-N.D., and the state health officer.
It will next head back to the House for a vote on the new amendments and then to the governors desk for a either a signature or to be vetoed.
If the governor doesn’t want to strip himself of his power to issue a mask mandate and decides to veto the bill, then it would need to receive a two-thirds majority vote in both the House and the Senate in order to pass.
Wednesday’s vote of 30-17 in the Senate wouldn’t be enough to reach two-thirds.
Copyright 2021 KFYR. All rights reserved.