File Photo By Raymundo Frasquillo/Gila Herald
PHOENIX – The House Commerce Committee approved HB 2770 on Tuesday, legislation sponsored by Representative Joseph Chaplik (R, LD-23), which empowers businesses in Arizona to decide whether or not to enforce on its premises a mask mandate that is imposed by politicians from the state, county, city/town or other jurisdiction in Arizona. The vote was divided by party line, 6-4.
“Since introducing HB2770, I’ve heard from countless people who feel like their liberties are being stolen and being ordered to cover up their faces even when they are healthy,” said Representative Chaplik. “Worse yet, business owners have been thrust into the unwanted role of ‘Mask Police’ on their customers, sometimes creating heated confrontations. This is not the role of government, and it’s certainly not the role of a business owner. Republicans seek to promote freedom, while Democrats try to restrict it from you.”
HB 2770 has the support of 21 cosponsors, including Representatives Barton (R, LD6), Biasiucci (R, LD-5), Bolick (R, LD-20), Burges (R, LD-1), Carroll (R, LD-22), Cobb (R, LD-5), Cook (R, LD-8), Dunn (R, LD-13), Fillmore (R, LD-16), Grantham (R, LD-12), Griffin (R, LD-14), Hoffman (R, LD-12), Kaiser (R, LD-15), Nguyen (R, LD-1), Nutt (R, LD-14), Parker (R, LD-6), Payne (R, LD-21), Pingerelli (R, LD-21), Pratt (R, LD-8), Toma (R, LD-22), and Wilmeth (R, LD-15). The bill now advances to the whole House for consideration.
Both state representatives covering Graham and Greenlee counties, Gail Griffin (R, LD-14), and Becky Nutt R, LD-14) support the bill.
Joseph Chaplik is a Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives serving Legislative District 23, which includes Scottsdale, Fountain Hills, and Rio Verde.