TRENTON, N.J. – Gov. Phil Murphy plans to announce his timeline to end school mask mandates starting March 7 today at 1 p.m. The mandate has been effective since the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year, requiring students, staff and visitors to wear a face covering.
Asm. Christopher P. DePhillips is questioning why there needs to be a timeline at all.
“March seventh is an arbitrary date that doesn’t have scientific backing,” said DePhillips (R-Bergen). “Why not end the mandate and all of the issues that go along with it today? What is the rationale behind a one-month delay?”
Murphy declared another public health emergency in January and with it the mask mandate, giving himself the executive authority to end the mandate then reinstitute it at any time if he deems necessary. It is expected that mask mandates will be optional and determined by school districts when the state requirement ends.
“The legislature should have more input into decision making, because every legislator is more in tune to the concerns of the districts, teachers, parents and students we represent than any other state official,” said DePhillips. “This never should have been a decision by one person, because in our democracy the legislature is a co-equal branch.”