House approves ban on mask mandates | Prairie Public Broadcasting

House approves ban on mask mandates

Feb 23, 2021

The North Dakota House has passed a bill to prevent governments from imposing mask mandates.

The bill’s sponsor,  Rep. Jeff Hoverson (R-Minot), told the House he has received a lot of e-mails — virtually all were for his bill and against mask mandates.

"They do not want North Dakota to get sucked into what is becoming obvious," Hoverson said. "The mask is a part of a larger apparatus of a movement of unelected, wealthy bureaucrats, who are robbing our freedoms and perpetuating lies."

Rep. Jason Dockter (R-Bismarck) argued against the measure. He told the House having a ban on governments adopting mask mandates takes away local control.

"If people wanted to decide to have a mask mandate, they should have that choice," Dockter said. "They should also have the choice not to mandate. I think as lawmakers, if we're going to pass a bill that just says 'Absolutely no mandates, no matter what, under no circumstances,' those are the same people that talk about local control."

The bill passed 50 to 44. It now goes to the Senate.

The measure is HB 1323.