Hawley Welcomes End of Mask Mandate for Schools, Reiterates Importance of Local Controls on Health Policy

​Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) is expressing relief following an announcement by Gov. Hochul that her statewide mask mandate for schoolchildren will be coming to an end on Wednesday, March 2, though he believes the mandate should have ended much earlier.

Throughout the pandemic, Hawley has called for control of public health policy decisions, such as mask mandates, to be left to local governments and local health officials. He has called for the mandate to end in various letters, public events, and media publications.

“The governor’s announcement is a welcome one, though one that’s taken far too long to be made as most states already announced the end of their mask mandates,” said Hawley. “Saying that, I feel the power to implement impactful mandates should not rest with our governor, but with local officials who know their communities better than Gov. Hochul or any state-level bureaucrat. Local decisions are informed decisions, so I will always stand for the right of localities to address the needs of their people as they see fit.”