Bismarck, ND – In an ongoing battle against science, evidence, and common sense, the NDGOP decided to pass HB 1323, limiting mask mandates and stripping local control of how best to deal with public health. The bill now sits on Governor Burgum’s desk, while Dem-NPL leaders as well as local officials, medical professionals, teachers, workers and those who wish to not catch COVID-19 are calling on him to reject the rabid members of his own party and veto the bill. Nothing short of a veto would be a ringing endorsement of comments from members like Rep. Hoverson (R-Minot), who shockingly compared North Dakota to a prison camp.
Democratic-NPL Executive Director Michael Taylor responded to the legislation:
“HB 1323 is yet another piece of hardware in the trophy case of the NDGOP’s legacy of destructive bills. Bills like these act only to continue the spread of a virus that our businesses, teachers, hospital staff, grocery workers, and more have suffered through long enough. Not only does this bill open the door for COVID-19 to maintain its grip on our state, but it would also blatantly strip local control from communities who know who to best serve their people.”
“Governor Burgum has a choice with this legislation. Either he can relinquish his own executive authority and allow extremist legislators to stranglehold our state, or he can protect North Dakotans by vetoing this bill. There is no middle ground. The radical right is on a rampage in our state and without a veto, they will do everything in their power to strip all local control and let COVID-19 continue to harm our communities.”