Pennsylvania Republicans Try to Block School Mask Order

The debate over requiring Pennsylvania school children to wear masks in schools and childcare centers continued Tuesday in Harrisburg with a letter from the House Health Committee, challenging Acting Health Secretary Alison Beam’s authority to order masks in schools. In late August, Democrat Governor Tom Wolf asked the General Assembly to return to Harrisburg and pass a mandate requiring all schools and childcare centers to make children wear masks to prevent the transmission of COVID-19. The Republican-led General Assembly leadership refused. Within days, Beam issued an order requiring masks to be worn inside K-12 school buildings, early learning programs, and childcare providers. “It is my strong belief that the secretary does not have the authority to proclaim this order because it is being interpreted as law,” Health Committee Majority Chair Kathy Rapp said Tuesday in a committee meeting. “It would be no different than the secretary of agriculture sending out …

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