Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - Assemblymember Michelle Bonnet-Hale is the sponsor of the mask ordinance.
Bonnet-Hale explains why she introduced mask ordinance. "My purpose in getting that introduced was so that we could get it on the table and get it in front of Juneau and make sure people are talking about it, they understand what it is and they understand the potential for it." She added that increases in cases recently just increases the urgency.
The penalty provision is $25 and Bonnet-Hale admits it would be difficult to enforce. But rather, she said, what they are trying to do is signal very clearly that this is important to Juneau.
There was a like penalty in Juneau over a hundred years ago during the Spanish Flu epidemic that was backed up with enforcement. She cited stories from 1918 that are circulating on the Internet. The story dealt with the mask ordinance approved in Juneau then that called for a penalty of $21 which Bonnet estimated is equivalent to $500 now. In addition, three people were hired then to enforce the ordinance.
Bonnet-Hale believes her measure will net the required six vote majority which is necessary since it is an emergency ordinance.