Arizona businesses could ignore local mask mandates under bill approved at Legislature

By Andrew Oxford | Arizona Republic

The state House of Representatives voted Wednesday to let businesses ignore local mask requirements that several cities and towns have embraced amid a pandemic that has killed more than 16,000 people in Arizona.

The proposal’s sponsor said House Bill 2770 would merely give businesses a choice of whether to enforce the public health measures and give consumers a choice of whether to patronize businesses that do so.

“It’s about the individual rights of these business owners as Americans,” said state Rep. Joseph Chaplik, R-Scottsdale.

But Democrats said the bill was plainly dangerous as the number of new cases and deaths decline but remain above the levels seen over the summer.

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