PHOENIX — A House committee has passed a Republican sponsored bill that would allow Arizona business owners to decide whether to enforce mask mandates for employees and customers, a move supporters say promotes freedom and critics call a threat to health and safety.
“It’s a simple bill – it restores the freedom and the liberties back to the individual, and the individuals that own a business, to make their own decisions,” said newly elected Rep. Joseph Chaplik of Scottsdale, a sponsor of House Bill 2770.
The House Commerce Committee on Tuesday voted 6-4 along party lines in favor of the bill, which runs counter to many city and county government requirements to wear a mask to combat the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Gov. Doug Ducey has not issued a statewide mask requirement but last year allowed local governments to establish such rules.
Chaplik, who spoke while wearing a face shield, referred to emails of support he has received.
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