By Conduit For Action
Governor Asa Hutchinson’s legislation to make school boards the scapegoats for imposing mask mandates will first go to a committee of the House of Representatives or Senate. Since the ban on mask mandates by the state, cities, counties, and school districts (Act 1002, SB590) went through the Senate and House Committees on Public Health, many have assumed that would be where Asa’s mandate bill would be assigned. However, we are hearing rumors the bill will instead be assigned to the Education Committee. We can’t confirm that yet.
Just in case Asa’s mandate is assigned to the Education Committees we want to inform you how those committee members voted on the mask mandate ban (Act 1002, SB590) passed just a few months ago. We also want to let you know which of the ones who voted for the ban have a history of flipping on Covid related legislation when Asa says “flip.”
If it turns out the bill is filed in the Public Health Committees, we will give you similar information for the members of those committees.
Before we give you information on the members of the Education Committees, we want to remind you of a few things.
- Asa claims letting school boards decide is the conservative thing to do because it shifts the decision on masks to local authorities. No, the conservative thing is to keep the ban which lets parents decide for their own children.
- The bill makes school board members Asa’s scapegoats. No matter what a school board decides there will be upset people in the community and who will work to defeat the school board members in the next election. They will be judged on a mask mandate, not how well the school is run.
- The only school board members that would welcome the responsibility for deciding on mask mandates are liberals.
- A legislator who votes to make school boards responsible is voting FOR mask mandates, but just does not want to be held responsible for their vote by their constituents.
HOUSE EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS
The House Education Committee has 20 members. Asa will need 11 votes in committee to move his bill to the full House, which means 10 committee members can block the legislation. Just a few months ago 15 of the 20 members voted to ban mask mandates even in schools.
It is likely, however, that Asa has already gotten commitments to flip from several committee members. If he did not have enough flippers to pass it out of committee, it is unlikely he would be calling a special session.
Here is the membership of the House Education Committee grouped by how they voted on Act 1002 of 2021 (SB590) which prohibits the state, cities, counties, and school districts from imposing mask mandates.
Yes on Act 1002: Beck, Bragg, Brown, Deffenbaugh, Evans, Hollowell, L. Johnson, Lowery, Maddox, McKenzie, S. Meeks, S. Smith, Speaks, Vaught, Womack, No: Godfrey, Murdock; Didn’t Vote: Cozart, C. Fite, Love
Click on Representative’s name for contact information
NOTE: Seven of the members of the House Education Committee already flipped for Asa on legislation that would have given back fines imposed under Asa’s Covid edicts. Those members are: Bragg, Brown, Evans, L. Johnson, Maddox, S. Smith, Vaught, Will they become CAREER FLIPPERS?
SENATE EDUCATION COMMITTEE MEMBERS
The Senate Education Committee has 8 members and it takes 5 yes votes to pass legislation, which means 4 committee members can stop legislation. Only 3 of the committee members voted to prohibit mask mandates but only 2 committee members voted against it. The other 3 committee members either didn’t vote or had an excused absence.
Here is the membership of the Senate Education Committee grouped by how they voted on Act 1002 of 2021 (SB590) which prohibits the state, cities, counties, and school districts from imposing mask mandates.
Click on Senator’s name for contact information
It is not too late to tell state Senator and Representative your view on them passing mask mandates by making school boards the scapegoats, but time is very short. They will be voting in just a few days.
Again, if the bill is filed in the Public Health Committees, we will give you the same information on those committee members.