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Governor makes it official, signs special session bill approving ban on school face mask mandates

SHARE Governor makes it official, signs special session bill approving ban on school face mask mandates
Kindergartner Arya Cardinelle wears a mask in class at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Salt Lake City.

Kindergartner Arya Cardinelle wears a mask in class at Woodrow Wilson Elementary School in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, May 12, 2021. Gov. Spencer Cox on Thursday, May 27, 2021, signed into law 16 bills passed by the Utah Legislature in a special session last week in Salt Lake City, including one to ban face mask requirement in schools beginning next school year.

Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News

Gov. Spencer Cox on Thursday signed into law 16 bills passed by the Utah Legislature in a special session last week in Salt Lake City.

Those included a bill appropriating over $1.6 billion in federal COVID-19 relief funds and a bill to ban face mask requirements in schools beginning next school year.

Cox also signed a concurrent resolution, SCR101, which recognizes the importance of Utah’s Asian American and Pacific Islanders and “condemns attacks perpetrated specifically against those communities.”

Cox, in a prepared statement issued Thursday, said he was “honored” to join the resolution’s sponsors Senate Minority Whip Jani Iwamoto, D-Holladay, and House Minority Whip Karen Kwan, D-Murray, in support of those communities.

“We must condemn anti-Asian hate in all its forms and celebrate the unique economic and cultural contributions of our AAPI community members,” the governor said.

While Cox signed SB1001, which adjusts the budget to accept over $1.6 billion in federal COVID-19 funds, he did execute a line item veto, striking out funds for a bill that didn’t pass.

For a full list of special session bills Cox signed on Thursday, visit his website.