Capitol mask mandate to go?

Rep. Wayne Trottier
Rep. Wayne Trottier(KFYR-TV)
Published: Mar. 1, 2021 at 4:58 PM CST
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - Lawmakers are getting tired of mask mandates. Some tried and failed to ban them entirely, but leadership is noticing fewer people wearing masks. Now they’re considering a change to the policies.

Walking around the Capitol, you’ll see some conflicting signs.

Some signs say “masks required” but others say “masks recommended.”

Different parts of the building are under different rules.

But in a few weeks, the entire building could be under the same rules.

Mask wearing has become as political as the people wearing them.

Some wear clear face shields, and some try to avoid them altogether.

But others try to show some personality.

“People ask, ‘are you hooked on it or do you do a lot of it?’ No, I don’t, but I do enjoy a shot every once in a while. But, I kinda respond with, ‘I believe in recycling,” Rep. Wayne Trottier, R-Northwood, said while wearing the Crown Royal bag as a mask.

If you’re wondering how effective his Crown Royal bag is, Trottier said he and his wife believe they’ve gotten COVID twice.

Under joint rules, lawmakers must where a face covering when in the chambers and in committee rooms.

As frustrations over mandate grows, legislative leadership is on-track to downgrade the mandate to a recommendation.

“It was the understanding, I think, of everyone involved that this was something we were going to do for a period of time. We didn’t know what the period of time was. We didn’t know when or if it would be suspended during the session. But I think most of us expected that we would change it or alter it,” Speaker of the House Kim Koppelman, R-West Fargo, said.

In order to have the mandate lifted, the House and Senate must agree on the same changes for the same start time.

But, the Senate wants the mandate in place longer than the House.

It wouldn’t be a complete rollback of COVID precautions and infrastructure. Party leadership said it’s critical to have the temperature checks and rapid testing remain.

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