Governor Hogan Declines to Speed Up Legislative Procedures to Approve Mask Mandates in Schools

Governor Hogan said on Monday that he would not look to waive the required 10-day wait period in advance of legislative approval. 

On August 26, the State Board of Education endorsed emergency regulations to require masks in all of the states’ public school facilities to mitigate transmission of COVID-19 and the Delta variant. The regulations now wait approval by the General Assembly’s Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review (AELR).

By law, AELR cannot take up the regulations until after a 10-day wait period that seeks input from the public. Speaker Adrienne A. Jones previously urged Governor Hogan to waive the wait period so that the General Assembly could consider the regulations sooner.

On Monday, Governor Hogan declined Jones’ invite to do so, saying, “I’m not going to create a state of emergency to waive the ability for legislators to hear from the citizens. They just have to do the process as they normally do. It doesn’t really change much, except for those handful of kids in a couple of rural counties” (Baltimore Sun).

Hogan was referring to the fact that only three counties — Carroll, Dorchester, and Somerset — do not currently require masks in schools. Yesterday, the Carroll County Board of Education voted to not require masks for students returning to schools next week until AELR takes up the decision.

According to state data, several schools that have already started their academic year have experienced positive cases and quarantines. This data is available and updated on the state’s coronavirus website.

The AELR Committee is scheduled to meet on September 14 to consider the emergency regulations.

For more information on the State School Board’s endorsed policy, visit its website.

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