Idaho Lt. Governor Ends Local Mask Mandates While Governor Travels Out Of State

Posted: May 27, 2021 9:34 PM

Republican Idaho Lt. Gov. Janice McGeachin took full advantage of a day as acting governor in Republican Gov. Brad Little's absence to do away with mask mandates in her state.

With Little traveling out of state and Idaho law granting the acting governor the same powers as the sitting governor, McGeachin signed Executive Order 2021-07, prohibiting the state, public schools, and all other "political subdivisions" from imposing mask mandates.

"Today, as acting Governor of the State of Idaho, I signed an Executive Order to protect the rights and liberties of individuals and businesses by prohibiting the state and its political subdivisions — including public schools — from imposing mask mandates in our state," McGeachin tweeted Thursday along with a picture of her executive order.

Via Idaho Capital Sun:

Little’s press secretary, Marissa Morrison Hyer, told the Idaho Capital Sun via email that the governor is out of state collaborating with other state governors, but he will be back Thursday evening.

“The lieutenant governor did not make Gov. Little aware of her executive order ahead of time,” Morrison Hyer said.

The governor’s office is reviewing the order, she said. An expanded statement from the governor’s office on the executive order will be made available after it is reviewed, according to Morrison Hyer.

“Throughout the pandemic, Gov. Little has been committed to protecting the health and safety of the people of Idaho and has emphasized the importance of Idahoans choosing to protect our neighbors and loved ones and keeping our economy and schools open,” she said. “Idahoans value local control and the local approach to addressing important issues.”

Now THIS is a great example of taking the bull by the horns. While Idaho never had a statewide mask mandate, local jurisdictions and school districts have been allowed to impose their own.

McGeachin, an announced primary challenger to Little--should he decide to run again--for the 2022 governor's race, now has the sitting governor in an interesting pickle. With masks about as popular in the state as socialism at this point, does he rescind her order or let it stand?