Utah considers ban on mask requirements in schools

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox called on state lawmakers Monday to convene for a special session this week to consider bills involving allocating federal coronavirus relief funds and a prohibition on mask requirements in schools.

Cox said two of the more contentious proposed measures will not be considered during Wednesday's session: a ban on teaching critical race theory in K-12 schools and a proposal to declare Utah a Second Amendment sanctuary.

In an email to lawmakers, Cox said those issues needed "more time, thought, dialogue and input" before being voted on.

"While I’m sure someone might be able to point out differently, I can’t remember these types of hot-button issues ever being put on a special session call," he wrote in the letter. "It’s not that I disagree with the desire to act, but doing it the right way — and at the right time — will lead to better legislation."

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Instead, lawmakers will focus on allocating the more than $1.5 billion Utah is receiving from the American Rescue Plan, as well as updating or fixing errors made in bills that passed the general session this past spring.

They will also weigh a resolution condemning acts of anti-Asian hate and an extension of the state drought emergency.

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