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CONCORD, NEW HAMPSHIRE – Today at the Joint Legislative Facilities Committee meeting, House and Senate Republicans voted to remove the face covering policy for the State House Complex. Following the action, House Democratic Leader Renny Cushing (D-Hampton) released the following statement:

“The decision to end the face covering mandate within the State House complex does not comply with CDC guidelines or the state’s Universal Best Practices guidelines and endangers legislators and staff. The ventilation system in the Legislative Office Building, which was deemed insufficient prior to the pandemic beginning, has still not been upgraded. A consultant’s report commissioned by the Facilities Committee recommended retaining a mask requirement until the antiquated ventilation system can be upgraded. Today’s vote by the same Facilities Committee to repeal the mask mandate is in direct opposition to that report.

There is absolutely no pressing need to remove this mandate at this time, other than to satisfy the radical right-wing elements of the Republican party. Members and staff already retain the flexibility to remove their masks while seated at their desks or voting stations if they desire. State House staff should not have to fear potentially deadly illness when they come into work each day, and today’s vote by Republican leadership unnecessarily endangers those who work in the State House and Legislative Office Building.”

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