Phil Murphy: School mask mandate will stay in place, even if his authorization expires tomorrow

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TRENTON, NJ – New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy today said that he will not allow school children to attend school unmasked, even if the New Jersey legislature doesn’t extend his pandemic emergency powers beyond the end of the day.

“It gives me no joy, but based on the upswing of infections and hospitalizations and deaths of our precious little kids, the mandate is going to have to stay in place for some amount of time longer,” Murphy said.

All of the governor’s emergency executive orders expire Tuesday night if not renewed.

Murphy hinted that he is working with the leadership of the legislature, but did not specifically rule out declaring a new state health emergency declaration if he is not satisfied with the decisions made by the legislature today.

The Governor requested a 90-day extension, but the legislature countered Murphy with a conditional 45-day extension. Murphy said the school mask mandate will stay in place, regardless of what happens today in the Statehouse.

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When pressed on the matter, Murphy would not answer another reporter’s questions of “What if” the legislature denies his extension.