Bill affecting mask wearers heads to Governor Cooper’s desk

GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) – Lawmakers have approved House Bill 237, which affects mask wearers in public, and it now moves to Governor Roy Cooper’s desk.

The bill passed with a vote of 69 to 42.

The bill mandates that masks worn in public must be medical or surgical grade and increases penalties for wearing masks while committing crimes.

“It is harmful because it is designed to and will have a chill effect on the First Amendment right to protest,” said Dawn Balgrove, Emancipate NC’s Executive Director.

The legislation is seen by some as a response to recent college protests.

Governor Cooper’s decision on whether to sign or veto the bill remains unknown.

WITN reached out to several state representatives for comment but has not received a response.