NEW YORK (WWTI) — Local lawmakers are continuing to oppose New York’s mask mandate.
On Tuesday, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik, who represents the 21st District of New York, released a statement opposing Governor Hochul and the New York State Education Department’s mask mandate for schools and public places.
Congresswoman Stefanik claimed that the mandate was “unconstitutional,” “forced” and “illegal.” Her full statement can be read below:
My office is answering calls from constituents – specifically, parents who are informing us that their kids are being kept from entering schools unless they are wearing masks.
Kathy Hochul and her Far-Left Department of Education are lying to Superintendents causing unnecessary confusion. There is no stay on this court ruling. Kathy Hochul’s authoritarian mandate was deemed illegal by NY Supreme Court. Masks are not mandatory for students, period. Yet Kathy Hochul is still trying to force young children to wear a mask in school, shamefully disregarding the rule of law.
Any parent or student that is told they cannot attend school in the North Country if they do not wear a mask due to the illegal mandate, please contact my office. As a senior member of the House Education and Labor Committee, I will hold the New York State Department of Education accountable.Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (NY-21)
Stefanik released this statement following a New York State Supreme Court ruling that was released on January 24. This ruling, issued by Judge Thomas Rademaker of Nassau County, said that the governor does not have the authority to impose the mandate since emergency powers are no longer in place.
The mandate was enacted by Gov. Hochul in December 2021. It required face coverings in schools and other public places, in order to mitigate the spread of the COVID-19 omicron variants.