ALL NEWS

Special session update: No masks in Utah schools this fall

May 19, 2021, 11:14 AM | Updated: 6:53 pm
utah legislature meeting special session schools masks...
Utah's State Capitol (photo: Dan Bammes)
(photo: Dan Bammes)

SALT LAKE CITY — Both chambers of the Utah Legislature, meeting in special session Wednesday, voted to prohibit any requirement that students wear masks in schools this fall. The measure, H.B. 1007, passed the Utah Senate in a 23-5 vote with one lawmaker abstaining. 

The item was just one of 22 issues to be addressed in the special session. Budgetary matters, including whether to accept federal pandemic relief funds and how to spend it, topped the agenda. 

No masks in Utah schools this fall

The measure bans both schools and the Utah Board of Education from requiring masks, but a district could still choose to require them if it worked with a local health board or county government. 

Rep. Val Peterson, R-Orem, sponsored House Bill 1007. He said he hopes it offers kids a sense of normalcy. 

“As we look at this bill, it’s really about the mental health of our students,” he told his fellow lawmakers before it passed. 

Supporters of the bill said if someone is not a direct threat to public health, they shouldn’t have mandates thrust upon them. But critics, like Rep. Melissa Ballard, R-North Salt Lake, called the bill hypocritical and incomplete. 

“The sponsor did mention there was no input given at all from any education leaders,” Ballard pointed out. 

Lawmakers voted 50 to 24 to approve the measure in the House, and 23 to 5 to approve it in the Senate. 

School districts still deciding on masks this year

Tuesday, the Salt Lake City School District announced its schools will require masks through the end of the school year. A number of other districts opted to lift requirements for masks after Utah Gov. Spencer Cox said they could choose to do so last week. 

Lawmakers also passed a resolution banning critical race theory from being taught in Utah’s public schools, with 56 “yeas” and 19 lawmakers abstaining from the vote. House Democrats, making up 17 votes, walked out during the roll call in protest of the resolution. 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

PUNXSUTAWNEY, PA, USA - FEBRUARY 2: Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow on Tuesday  morning 6 more wee...
Scottie Andrew, CNN

The bizarre history of Groundhog Day

So how did Groundhog Day go from a kooky local tradition to an annual celebration even those of us who don't worry about winter can find the fun in?
7 hours ago
Indian billionaire Gautam Adani, pictured here, in Ahmedabad India on April 2, 2014 abandoned a dea...
By Mark Thompson, CNN

Adani scraps $2.5 billion share sale as value of his empire collapses

Indian billionaire Gautam Adani on Wednesday abandoned a deal to raise $2.5 billion from investors after a week-long meltdown in the value of his logistics and energy business empire that started when an American short seller accused the conglomerate of fraud.
7 hours ago
Multiple Michigan agencies are investigating what happened to three local rappers, Armani Kelly, 28...
By Michelle Watson and Amy Simonson, CNN

3 rappers have been missing for 10 days since their scheduled performance was canceled, Detroit police say

Multiple Michigan agencies are investigating what happened to three local rappers who went missing 10 days ago after a performance at a club was canceled, Detroit police said.
7 hours ago
A herd of elk ended up on the roadways near I-80 and Foothill Boulevard on Thursday, Jan 26, 2023. ...
Mark Jones

Four elk killed as herd gets too close to I-215 and I-80

Four elk were killed Wednesday after a herd of elk got too close to I-215 and I-80. Two of the elk were struck and killed by vehicles. The other two had to be euthanized after being hit.
1 day ago
Salt Lake City police are investigating a shooting Wednesday night that sent one person to the hosp...
Mark Jones

Salt Lake City police investigating shooting, one person hurt

SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City police are investigating a shooting Wednesday night.  Police say the shooting occurred in the area of 1665 S. Riverside Drive at 6:43 p.m. One person was transported by ambulance to an area hospital in critical condition.  Police have been unable to locate a suspect. They say the suspect […]
1 day ago
FILE - House Speaker Kevin McCarthy of Calif., pauses during a break in the taping of an interview ...
Mark Jones

Cracks are showing in the coalition of the GOP, according to polling numbers

Recent polling from Schoen Cooperman Research says there may be cracks in the GOP.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Special session update: No masks in Utah schools this fall