Ban on Kentucky mask mandates advances

A House committee adopted a ban on statewide mask orders in a 15-5 vote Tuesday, the first day of a special legislative session dealing with emergency measures during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The measure was added to a lengthy draft of a bill dealing with COVID-19 testing, treatment, vaccines and other measures Republican lawmakers who control the legislature are proposing during an ongoing surge in coronavirus cases and hospitalizations.

Rep. Kimberly Poore Moser, a Taylor Mill Republican, said the bill, if adopted, would bar Gov. Andy Beshear from issuing any "blanket mask mandate" as he had previously done during the pandemic.

Rather, local governments and businesses would decide whether to require masks, said Moore, chairwoman of the House Health and Family Services committee, who presented House Bill 2.

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