Arkansas gov: I wish I hadn't banned local mask mandates

During a press conference, Hutchinson answered questions about why he signed the proposal into law. He said that when he initially approved it a few months ago, both COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations were at a “low point” in Arkansas and were declining.

Now as the delta variant is causing a new wave in the state along with low vaccination rates, Hutchinson said that in hindsight he wishes that Act 1002 had not become law.

“There is no state wide mask mandate. I’m not in favor of a statewide mask mandate. There are no government vaccine mandates as well, but we do have a vulnerable group that is not eligible for the vaccine,” said Hutchinson.

He said the call that he’s signed Tuesdays asks the general assembly to amend the law to give local school districts the flexibility to add protection to children under 12.