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Despite reversal, Southern Tier lawmakers still take issue with toddler mask mandate

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Child Mask

(WBNG) -- While local lawmakers are happy the rule was reversed, they say they're still unhappy with how it happened in the first place.

Last week, New York State announced 2 to 5-year-olds would be required to wear a mask in childcare settings; that executive order from Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) was repealed just a few days later on Monday.

State Rep. Donna Lupardo (D, District 123) told 12 News Tuesday she was happy to see the rule reversed, and she believes the large public outcry against the measure played a role.

Still, she said it never should have been required without talking to the experts.

"My big objection to that besides the fact it would be so difficult is no one was consulted; the childcare industry was not consulted and we were left to answer a boatload of questions and comments and complaints from everyone in the community," Lupardo said.

Her colleague across the aisle, State Sen. Fred Akshar (R, District 52) said he was also against the mask mandate from the beginning.

However, his reasoning centered around the timing of the decision among others, saying it was nonsensical.

"He had walked back the larger mask mandate for all New Yorkers and then we found ourselves in a situation where 2 to 5-year-olds had to wear masks now and they didn't have to for the last year or better, so it created a great deal of frustration for everyone involved," Akshar told 12 News Tuesday.

Josh Rosenblatt

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