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Nassau County’s newly sworn-in Republican county executive issued an order on Thursday allowing school districts to decide whether to institute mask mandates, in defiance of New York State policy.
“School boards are comprised of elected officials who make decisions based upon the unique circumstances of each district,” county executive Bruce Blakeman said at a press conference. “They are in the best position to make these decisions, not an autocracy in Albany.”
Blakeman signed three executive orders on Thursday, including one that allows the county’s school boards to get rid of mask mandates that Governor Kathy Hochul has implemented statewide. He expressed confidence that the order provides sufficient legal grounds for schools to go against Hochul’s mandate.
“This executive order gives the school districts their own individual right to make decisions within the county under our home rule authority that we have as a county,” he said. “Our county is larger than nine states and we don’t need people in Albany telling us what we should be doing.”
Blakeman’s other orders formalize his decision not to enforce the governor’s mask mandates that he said “unfairly fine residents and small businesses thousands of dollars” and also allow public county workers to go maskless indoors.
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