Louisiana House members ask governor to end mask mandate and business restrictions

Thirty-three state legislators, all Republican, asked Democratic Gov. John Bel Edwards to end the statewide mask mandate and fully reopen businesses in Louisiana.

“It is time to lift statewide restrictions on the capacity of all businesses and facilities and lift the statewide mask mandate,” state Rep. Rick Edmonds, R-Baton Rouge, wrote the governor. “Our businesses, both large and small, will continue to fight against COVID-19. We are certain that their continued commitment and direction as it relates to capacity issues and enforcement of other virus safety precautions will be done safely and professionally without any additional government mandates.”

“With access to vaccinations on the rise, hospitalizations on the decline, and a variety of better treatment options, now is time to end the mandates,” Edmonds said.

The Republican governors of Texas and Mississippi, both neighbors to the east and west of Louisiana, have returned to full business with no masking requirements yesterday and today. Edwards loosened restrictions on Wednesday but required the state’s residents to continue wearing masks and only set more flexible occupancy limits on businesses.

After seeing the worst spike of the pandemic recede in recent weeks, Gov. John Bel Edwards on Tuesday moved the state into the loosest phase o…

The governor did not respond immediately to a request for comment.

Sixty-seven of the House’s 105 representatives are Republican.

Only three state senators signed the letter and that included Sen. Bodi White, of Central and head of the Senate Finance Committee that oversees the state’s budget. His counterpart in the lower chamber – Rep. Jerome Zee Zeringue, of Houma, chair of the House Appropriations Committee – also put his signature to Edmonds letter.

Neither House Speaker Clay Schexnayder, R-Gonzales, nor Senate President Page Cortez, R-Lafayette, were among the signatories.

State Rep Rick Edmonds, R-Baton Rouge, letter to Gov. John Bel Edwards

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