Sununu vetoes bill prohibiting school mask mandates

May 21, 2022 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Gov. Chris Sununu has vetoed a bill that would have prohibited New Hampshire schools from implementing face mask mandates.

The bill vetoed Friday would have prohibited school boards or other public education agencies from adopting policies requiring students or members of the public to wear face coverings.

“Just because we may not like a local decision does not mean we should remove their authority,” Sununu said in his veto message. “One of the state’s foremost responsibilities is to know the limits of its power.”

Though Sununu also noted that the state prides itself on promoting local control in education, schools have not had free rein when it comes to the coronavirus.

When state public health officials stopped recommending mask wearing in most indoor public spaces in February, Sununu said any schools that try to maintain mask mandates would run afoul of state laws requiring that each student be provided equitable access to education.

Also in February, the state enacted new rules prohibiting schools from shifting to fully remote or hybrid instruction due to COVID-19 outbreaks.