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Cooper vetoes bill giving parents control over kids’ face masks in school, approves bill extending tax filing deadline for farmers and fishermen

(Gray TV)
Published: Feb. 24, 2022 at 4:38 PM EST
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WECT) - Governor Roy Cooper vetoed a bill Thursday that would have given parents/guardians the right to decide if their children needed to wear face masks in public schools.

If Senate Bill 173 had passed, it would have made masks optional across all public K-12 schools and early childhood programs regardless of decisions by local boards of education.

“I have encouraged local boards to lift mask mandates and they are doing it across the state with the advice of health officials who see that COVID metrics are declining and vaccinations are increasing,” said Cooper. “The bipartisan law the legislature passed and I signed last year allows local boards to make these decisions for their own communities and that is still the right course. Passing laws for political purposes that encourage people to pick and choose which health rules they want to follow is dangerous and could tie the hands of public health officials in the future.”

Senate Bill 173, also known as “The Free Smiles Act,” was approved by the Senate and the House last week.

Also on Thursday, Cooper signed a bill into law that extends the March 1 tax deadline for farmers and fishermen because of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Act will allow them to qualify for the exception that permits them to avoid making estimated tax payments throughout the taxable year without accruing interest.

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