ND Legislature To Vote On Mask Mandate (FOR THEMSELVES)
How to start?
Well, let's go to the source. The Associated Press reported Tuesday that this debate is happening.
North Dakota lawmakers will be deciding Tuesday whether to require masks at the state Capitol, a move that is supported by legislative leaders but opposed by far-right members of the Republican-controlled Legislature.
Which got me to thinking, isn't the state Capitol supposed to be public? Isn't the state face covering order put in place November 14th, applicable to all indoor public places as well as all businesses? Why would government officials have a separate set of rules? Apparently, because they argue. That's the only thing I can figure out- this from Governor Burgum's official order- Circumstances where mandatory face coverings may be temporarily removed include...
b. When testifying, speaking, or performing in an indoor business or public indoor space, in situations or settings such as theaters, news conferences, legal proceedings, governmental meetings subject to N.D.C.C. ch. 44-04, presentations, or lectures, provided that physical distancing is always maintained. Face shields should be considered as an alternative in these situations.
The loophole appears to be Century Code 44-04 which you can read for yourself here. I'm just going to assume the loophole is...when a meeting is not open to the public, it is then a private space and not subject to the face covering order. But maybe there's some other magic surrounding the Capitol. The kind of magic that got Burgum kicked off of the Senate floor for wearing jeans. Back in 2017, he was ushered off the floor after taking a picture with school kids. He wasn't cuffed and stuffed, but who's the boss around here anyway!
So the legislature is going to debate today about whether they should be required to wear masks. I'm sure the decision will fall in line with the spirit of the order and masks will be required. I'll issue a full apology tomorrow if I'm wrong. After all, I figured the Vikings woulda beat the Cowboys. Story isn't over yet though...
There is one little thing that somewhat does not match the spirit of the original face covering order.
Lawmakers are expected to vote on temporary mask rules Tuesday afternoon to cover the organizational session. Both chambers are expected to finalize the rules Thursday for the session that convenes Jan. 5.
The face covering mandate is set to "expire" on December 14th, 2020. I know they're currently undergoing organizational sessions, but will the rules finalized on Thursday extend in to the new year? Will Jeff Delzer be masked-up come January 5th? Let's keep watching.
Stay safe y'all.