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Idaho legislation banning mask mandates won't get Senate hearing

Idaho legislation banning mask mandates won't get Senate hearing
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The Idaho Senate won't take up a bill passed by the state House that prohibits mask mandates, The Associated Press reported Monday.

Chairman of the Senate Health and Welfare Committee, state Sen. Fred Martin (R), told the AP that the committee has no plans to meet in the remaining legislative session.

“We shut down the committee several weeks ago, so we are not hearing any additional bills,” Martin told the AP. 

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Martin cited the state’s legislative session lasting for 100 days in 2021, the third longest in the state's history, as a reason why he was reluctant to call the committee back into order, according to the report.

Martin didn't say the bill is dead in the state legislature, but that's the effective result of his committee not taking up the legislation.

Idaho Gov. Brad Little (R) never issued a statewide mask mandate, but several Idaho counties and cities upheld their own. Idaho citizens protested the idea of mask mandates as recently as March, when people burned masks in front of the Capitol in Boise.  

Idaho reported that as of Monday, 460,117 people are fully vaccinated in the state. The state recorded 186,365 cases and 2,032 deaths from the coronavirus pandemic.