New Jersey's 13th Legislative District

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

Senator Declan O'Scanlon

O’Scanlon Calls Governor’s Handling of Mandates Extension ‘Antagonistic’

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Senator Declan O’Scanlon strongly criticized Governor Murphy’s statement at a press conference Monday where he declared mask mandates would continue for the foreseeable future, even though the legislature had yet to vote on the bill authorizing the extension of any mandates.

Sen. Declan O’Scanlon blasted Gov. Murphy for declaring his mask mandates would continue for the foreseeable future before the Legislature had voted on a bill to extend his emergency powers. (Pixabay)

“Whatever your position might be on mask mandates, the way the governor has handled this situation is antagonistic and an insult to the Legislature that appears to have finally developed a backbone,” said O’Scanlon. “This is not the way to get things done when you are supposed to be dealing with another co-equal branch of government.”

The Governor’s announcement Monday indicated he would extend mandates regardless of what the Legislature decided on the executive order extension bill.

“Covid at this point is endemic. We’re going to have to live with it. Thank God the virus has not impacted our children anywhere near the level of adults,” said O’Scanlon. “The flu poses just as big a threat to children as does Covid. So, unless you are going to advocate that children need to be permanently masked in school every year during the winter months, then you have to accept it’s time to end the state-wide universal mask mandate.

“Over and over again we are hearing about the negative impact of mask mandates at schools, as well as serious physical and mental impacts especially among our special education population. If we accept evidence that there are negatives to such policies, then it should be a goal to end them and define when we are going to do so.

“Many states have left school mask mandates behind with no apparent, consistent, negative health impact. Paired with the science surrounding the lower transmission risk to children, this should be all we need to see to justify leaving mask mandates in the hands of local school boards and parents,” O’Scanlon continued.

“Finally, it seems Democrats in the legislature have let the Governor know they aren’t going to be pushed around. Especially considering his statements today. Hopefully, this will be a sign of more backbone to come,” O’Scanlon concluded.

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