Harrisburg, Pa. – A new bill in the state Senate would make not wearing a face mask in public punishable as misdemeanor reckless endangerment.

The legislation was introduced by Pa. Senator Art Haywood (D-Montgomery/Philadelphia) on Sept. 8, and co-sponsored by three other democratic senators.

The bill would amend Title 18 of the state crime code to further provide for the offense of recklessly endangering another person.

"A person commits a misdemeanor of the second degree if the person willfully fails to wear a mask or other face covering that is necessary to protect public health as a result of a declaration by the Governor," the proposed bill states.

State Representative Tim O'Neal (R-Washington County) said he wholeheartedly does not support Senate Bill 1287.

"While we should all wear masks, keep our social distance and wash our hands in order to protect our community, no fines or criminal charges should be filed against those who do not follow the governor’s mask mandate," O'Neal said.

"Our law enforcement officers have enough on their plates. They should not be turned into the mask police," he said.

Read the proposed legislation here.

Support our journalism

Our content is free, but our journalists work hard. 100% of your contribution to goes directly toward helping us cover the important news and events in our region. Thank you for saying that local news matters!

This story was compiled by an NCPA staff reporter from submitted news. To see a list of our editorial staff please visit our staff directory.