Mask opt-out bill for students clears Senate committee

HARRISBURG, Pa. — A bill that would allow parents in Pennsylvania to exempt their children from wearing a mask at school has cleared a state Senate committee as Republican lawmakers work to counter the governor’s statewide mask mandate.

The legislation would hand the ultimate decision on masking at school to parents and guardians. It would allow them to overrule any face-covering mandate imposed by the Pennsylvania Department of Health, a local health department or a school board.

The Senate Education Committee approved the bill on a party-line vote. It would have to pass the full Senate and the House before going to Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, who would almost certainly veto it.