UPDATE: Bill prohibiting mask requirements in Utah schools passes House

Local Politics

Utah lawmakers meet during May 19, 2021, special session. (ABC4)

WEDNESDAY 5/19/2021 11:38 a.m.

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Utah House has passed a bill that would prohibit the use of face covering requirements in Utah public schools.

House Bill 1007, sponsored by Representative Val Peterson (R-Orem), passed on a vote of 50-24-1. It will now head to the Senate.

Utah lawmakers are set to continue discussing numerous bills today.

The full text of Senate Resolution 901, regarding critical race theory in Utah public schools, and House Resolution 902, declaring Utah a Second Amendment Sanctuary, have also been released. You can view both below:

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Original Story: Utah lawmakers meeting for special session, to discuss critical race theory and more

WEDNESDAY 5/19/2021 9:49 a.m.

SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah legislators are meeting for a special session on Wednesday.

On Monday, Governor Spencer Cox called a special session for lawmakers to discuss 22 issues, including budget issues, changes to passed bills, and new bills. Among those new bills are a prohibition on face mask requirements in schools and changes to electronic cigarettes.

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While Gov. Cox said Critical Race Theory and making the state a Second Amendment Sanctuary would not be discussed – because they “would benefit from more time, thought, dialogue, and input” – the House and Senate announced on Tuesday that they will consider resolutions about both topics.

The Senate Majority Caucus said they are against Critical Race Theory being taught in Utah schools, saying in a statement to ABC4:

“Everyone is created equal and should be judged by their character, not the color of their skin. For this reason, we oppose critical race theory being taught in schools. American history should be taught in a way that highlights our country’s highs and lows, triumphs, and mistakes. We do not want to erase or bypass history, but we need to prevent schools from endorsing discriminatory concepts.”

The Senate Majority Caucus says they do, however, support making Utah a Second Amendment sanctuary state, saying in part, “We are committed to protecting the Second Amendment rights defined in the U.S. Constitution by our Founding Fathers. Our most important duty as legislators is to preserve Utahns’ freedoms, including the freedom to bear arms without government interference.

The Utah House of Representatives announced they would also consider resolutions on Critical Race Theory and Second Amendment Sanctuary State.

While lawmakers met Wednesday morning, Utah’s Educational Equity Coalition and community advocates met on the front steps of the state capitol for a press conference about the resolution to ban critical race theory. They were met by a second group calling for critical race theory to be banned in schools.

The special session begins at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday. ABC4 will continue providing updates on air and online as the session continues.

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