The North Dakota House of Representatives passed a bill on Monday that would make future mask mandates illegal.
The Grand Forks Herald reported that the bill passed 50-44. It next heads to the state Senate.
The bill comes three months after North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum (R) imposed a statewide mask mandate, though the governor himself had previously expressed skepticism over such a move.
The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Jeff Hoverson (R), called mask mandates "diabolical silliness," characterizing them as a conspiracy run by "unelected, wealthy bureaucrats who are robbing our freedoms and perpetuating lies," the Herald reported.
The number of COVID-19 cases declined after Burgum's mask mandate. The Herald also notes that health experts have attributed the drop to a combination of factors, including restrictions on businesses and increased social distancing.