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10th District Legislators to Murphy: It’s Time to Rip the Mask Mandate Off Like a Band-Aid

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Governor Murphy announced he is almost ready to eliminate his mask mandate for schools a month from now and Senator Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano (all R-Ocean) said that’s not soon enough.

After Gov. Murphy announced he is almost ready to eliminate his mask mandate for schools a month from now, Sen. Jim Holzapfel and Assemblymen Greg McGuckin and John Catalano say that’s not soon enough. (

“This is just more foot-dragging by the Administration. It is impossible to fathom the Governor’s reluctance to free school kids from the masks immediately,” said Senator Holzapfel. “Why the delay for another month? Stop playing around. It has been a year and a half, and residents don’t want to wait until March 7 to get their parental rights back. Give It Back now!”

Murphy’s mask announcement on Monday came on the same day he revealed his intention to extend his latest public health emergency declaration for 30 more days.

“There’s no reason to drag out the emergency. The COVID numbers have been improving significantly every day,” Assemblyman McGuckin said. “New Jersey has been smothered by Murphy’s emergency powers for too long. Let it expire and the mask mandate would terminate, too. The power grab should end. Give It Back!”

The 10th District lawmakers have long opposed the mask mandates and advocated for the restoration of parental rights. They sponsor legislation (S-126/A-1632) that prohibits requiring students to wear face masks in schools and on school buses. Initially introduced last summer (as S-3879/A-5830 in the previous legislative session), the bill would make mask-wearing optional at the discretion of the student’s parent.

“This has gone on for far too long,” said Assemblyman Catalano. “We have reached the point of diminishing returns, and the Governor should understand his reign as health dictator has run its course. He has taken too much from New Jersey residents and it’s time to Give It Back.”

Thursday, Senate Republicans launched the “Give It Back” initiative to give New Jerseyans an opportunity to tell Governor Phil Murphy in a unified voice to give back everything he has taken from them over the past two years, including parental rights to make mask decisions for their children.

More than 4,200 New Jerseyans have already told Governor Murphy to “Give It Back” at

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The 10th District Team

Jim Holzapfel

Senator - District 10

Greg McGuckin

Assemblyman - District 10

John Catalano

Assemblyman - District 10

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