On Thursday, 178 House Democrats wrote to Gov. Chris Sununu urging him to impose a Massachusetts-style mandatory mask order for New Hampshire.

“Many states across the U.S., including border states Maine and Massachusetts, have established mandatory mask-wearing orders in conjunction with the calculated reopening of their businesses. These orders, which only apply when someone is unable to socially distance in public, are necessary to protect the public and give people confidence that they can go out safely, without increased risk of infection,” House Democrats wrote.

“Given recent attempts to denigrate and politicize the concept of mask wearing as a violation of personal freedom, consistent guidelines will be imperative to the success of Stay At Home 2.0 and future reopening efforts,” the Democrats added.

“While inaction [on a mask mandate] will be viewed as tacit permission to ignore the guidelines that are so necessary to our economic rebound, adopting this commonsense order will protect public health and uphold the regional unity needed for a strong economic reopening across New England.”

The letter comes a day after the city of Nashua’s Board of Public Health unanimously recommended that the city require masks for all shoppers and diners in the city’s businesses. The proposal is expected to pass the full Board of Aldermen.

The Union-Leader reports Alderwoman Linda Harriott-Gathright complained that “not everyone in Nashua is wearing a mask while grocery shopping, and some people are not following one-way directional signs in store aisles.”

“It has been a challenge, to be honest with you, here in Nashua,” Harriott-Gathright said. “I am very happy that we are even considering that Nashua become a mask city, and particularly because we are a border town.”

In Salem, N.H., however, a proposal for a mask mandate with a $200 fine was tabled without a vote on Monday, due to public opposition. Neither the New Hampshire House or the city of Nashua have announced what level of fines or enforcement they support for their mandate.

“The Governor recommends wearing a mask in scenarios where social distancing cannot be practiced, like when he goes grocery shopping, but does not believe a mandate is needed at this time,” Sununu’s spokesperson Ben Vihstadt told NHJournal.

In the past, Sununu has rejected the idea of mandating mask wearing in New Hampshire.

“We always recommend people wear a mask, of course. We recommend it, but we’re not at a point where we’re mandating and fining people for it, definitely not,” Sununu told radio host Jack Heath earlier this month. “We’re working, for example, with the retailers and the barbershops, they’re helping create the guidance document.

“So we don’t need to send the ‘stay-at-home’ police out there to start arresting people. That’s not the goal,” Sununu said at the time.

House Republican Leader Dick Hinch (R-Merrimack) issued a statement in response:

“CDC and public health guidance we currently have in place are reasonable. New Hampshire citizens are being responsible in following them. Municipalities have the ability to take further steps if they feel it’s necessary. What Nashua believes is right for their community may not be right for Littleton or any other similar community, and we have to recognize that. It does not seem to be the New Hampshire Way to stop people on the street who choose not to wear a mask. It is unenforceable, and it would create more chaos. Business and individuals can currently make choices to avoid unnecessary contact with people, with or without masks, and to make this a government mandate goes too far.”


Majority Leader Douglas Ley – Cheshire District 9

Deputy Majority Leader Marjorie Porter – Hillsborough District 1

Representative Michael Abbott – Cheshire District 1

Representative Richard Abel – Grafton District 13

Representative Susan Almy – Grafton District 13

Representative Debra Altschiller – Rockingham District 19

Representative Robert Backus – Hillsborough District 19

Representative Chris Balch – Hillsborough District 38

Representative Christy Bartlett – Merrimack District 19

Representative Jane Beaulieu – Hillsborough District 45

Representative Paul Berch – Cheshire District 1

Representative Jennifer Bernet – Hillsborough District 4

Representative Skip Berrien, MD – Rockingham District 18

Representative Peter Bixby – Strafford District 17

Representative John Bordenet – Cheshire District 5

Representative Bill Bordy – Hillsborough District 28

Representative Jim Bosman – Hillsborough District 38

Representative Don Bouchard – Hillsborough District 11

Representative Amanda Bouldin – Hillsborough District 12

Representative Andrew Bouldin – Hillsborough District 12

Representative Ryan Buchanan – Merrimack District 15

Representative Thomas Buco – Carroll District 2

Representative Lisa Bunker – Rockingham District 18

Representative Anita Burroughs – Carroll District 1

Representative Pat Bushway – Rockingham District 21

Representative Ed Butler – Carroll District 7

Representative Michael Cahill – Rockingham District 17

Representative Polly Campion – Grafton District 12

Representative Gerri Cannon – Strafford District 18

Representative Clyde Carson – Merrimack District 7

Representative Wendy Chase – Strafford District 18

Representative Skip Cleaver – Hillsborough District 35

Representative John Cloutier – Sullivan District 10

Representative Bruce Cohen – Hillsborough District 28

Representative Patricia Cornell – Hillsborough District 18

Representative David Cote – Hillsborough District 31

Representative David Coursin, MD – Rockingham District 1

Representative Renny Cushing – Rockingham District 21

Representative Paul Dargie – Hillsborough District 23

Representative Fred Davis – Hillsborough District 31

Representative Kathy Desjardin – Hillsborough District 13

Representative Edith DesMarais – Carroll District 6

Representative Francesca Diggs – Grafton District 16

Representative Charlotte DiLorenzo – Rockingham District 17

Representative David Doherty – Merrimack District 20

Representative Roger Dontonville – Grafton District 10

Representative Sherry Dutzy – Hillsborough District 30

Representative Daniel Eaton – Cheshire District 3

Representative Karen Ebel – Merrimack District 5

Representative Michael Edgar – Rockingham District 21

Representative Tim Egan – Grafton District 2

Representative Mary Eisner – Rockingham District 6

Representative Donna Ellis – Strafford District 8

Representative Art Ellison – Merrimack District 27

Representative Manny Espitia – Hillsborough District 31

Representative Kristina Fargo – Strafford District 14

Representative Barry Faulkner – Cheshire District 12

Representative Sallie Fellows – Grafton District 8

Representative Sue Ford – Grafton District 3

Representative Samantha Fox – Merrimack District 23

Representative Mary Freitas – Hillsborough District 14

Representative Elaine French – Grafton District 14

Representative Sherry Frost – Strafford District 16

Representative Joyce Fulweiler – Merrimack District 3

Representative Kenneth Gidge – Hillsborough District 33

Representative Julie Gilman – Rockingham District 18

Representative Chuck Grassie – Strafford District 11

Representative Willis Griffith – Hillsborough District 18

Representative Heidi Hamer – Hillsborough District 17

Representative Linda Harriott-Gathright – Hillsborough District 36

Representative Cathryn Harvey – Cheshire District 1

Representative Bill Hatch – Coos District 6

Representative Mary Heath – Hillsborough District 14

Representative Christopher Herbert – Hillsborough District 43

Representative Peg Higgins – Strafford District 22

Representative Timothy Horrigan – Strafford District 6

Representative Greg Indruk – Hillsborough District 34

Representative Timothy Josephson – Grafton District 11

Representative David Karrick – Merrimack District 25

Representative Sandra Keans – Strafford District 23

Representative Cam Kenney – Strafford District 6

Representative Mark King – Hillsborough District 33

Representative Patricia Klee – Hillsborough District 30

Representative Nicole Klein – Hillsborough District 11

Representative Jerry Knirk – Carroll District 3

Representative Connie Lane – Merrimack District 12

Representative Diane Langley – Hillsborough District 8

Representative Tamara Le – Rockingham District 31

Representative Peter Leishman – Hillsborough District 24

Representative Cassandra Levesque – Strafford District 4

Representative Patrick Long – Hillsborough District 10

Representative Tom Loughman – Rockingham District 21

Representative Patricia Lovejoy – Rockingham District 36

Representative David Luneau – Merrimack District 10

Representative Jim MacKay – Merrimack District 14

Representative Kevin Maes – Grafton District 6

Representative Jim Maggiore – Rockingham District 22

Representative Latha Mangipudi – Hillsborough District 35

Representative John Mann – Cheshire District 2

Representative Joelle Martin – Hillsborough District 23

Representative Becky McBeath – Rockingham District 26

Representative Liz McConnell – Rockingham District 11

Representative Gary Merchant – Sullivan District 4

Representative David Meuse – Rockingham District 29

Representative Howard Moffett – Merrimack District 9

Representative Donna Mombourquette – Hillsborough District 5

Representative David Morrill – Cheshire District 4

Representative Wayne Moynihan – Coos District 2

Representative Mary Jane Mulligan – Grafton District 12

Representative Nancy Murphy – Hillsborough District 21

Representative Kate Murray – Rockingham District 24

Representative Garrett Muscatel – Grafton District 12

Representative Mel Myler – Merrimack District 10

Representative Ray Newman – Hillsborough District 29

Representative Sue Newman – Hillsborough District 29

Representative Sharon Nordgren – Grafton District 12

Representative Fran Nutter-Upham – Hillsborough District 33

Representative Allison Nutting-Wong – Hillsborough District 32

Representative Michael O’Brien – Hillsborough District 36

Representative Linn Opderbecke – Strafford District 15

Representative Dick Osborne – Grafton District 7

Representative Henry Parkhurst – Cheshire District 13

Representative Will Pearson – Cheshire District 16

Representative Michael Pedersen – Hillsborough District 32

Representative Peter Petrigno – Hillsborough District 23

Representative Dan Pickering – Hillsborough District 3

Representative Israel Piedra – Hillsborough District 9

Representative Rod Pimentel – Merrimack District 6

Representative Josh Query – Hillsborough District 16

Representative Julie Radhakrishnan – Hillsborough District 22

Representative Ellen Read – Rockingham District 17

Representative Cecilia Rich – Strafford District 18

Representative Cole Riel – Hillsborough District 6

Representative Beth Rodd – Merrimack District 6

Representative George Saunderson – Merrimack District 9

Representative Tom Schamberg – Merrimack District 4

Representative Joe Schapiro – Cheshire District 16

Representative Janice Schmidt – Hillsborough District 28

Representative Peter Schmidt – Strafford District 19

Representative Dianne Schuett – Merrimack District 20

Representative Kristina Schultz – Merrimack District 18

Representative Suzanne Smith – Grafton District 8

Representative Ken Snow – Hillsborough District 19

Representative Catherine Sofikitis – Hillsborough District 34

Representative Peter Somssich – Rockingham District 27

Representative Timothy Soucy – Merrimack District 16

Representative Thomas Southworth – Strafford District 20

Representative Judith Spang – Strafford District 6

Representative Michelle St. John – Hillsborough District 27

Representative Kathryn Stack – Hillsborough District 21

Representative Laurel Stavis – Grafton District 13

Representative Deb Stevens – Hillsborough District 34

Representative Brian Sullivan – Sullivan District 1

Representative Sandy Swinburne – Cheshire District 10

Representative George Sykes – Grafton District 13

Representative Linda Tanner – Sullivan District 9

Representative Bruce Tatro – Cheshire District 15

Representative Yvonne Thomas – Coos District 3

Representative Wendy Thomas – Hillsborough District 21

Representative Craig Thompson – Cheshire District 14

Representative Dan Toomey – Hillsborough District 32

Representative Matt Towne – Strafford District 4

Representative Susan Treleaven – Strafford District 17

Representative Alan Turcotte – Merrimack District 22

Representative Sue Vail – Hillsborough District 30

Representative Connie Van Houten – Hillsborough District 45

Representative Ivy Vann – Hillsborough District 24

Representative Mary Jane Wallner – Merrimack District 10

Representative Mary Beth Walz – Merrimack District 23

Representative Gerald Ward – Rockingham District 28

Representative Safiya Wazir – Merrimack District 17

Representative Lucy Weber – Cheshire District 1

Representative Ken Wells – Merrimack District 1

Representative Joyce Weston – Grafton District 8

Representative Matt Wilhelm – Hillsborough District 42

Representative Kermit Williams – Hillsborough District 4

Representative Steve Woodcock – Carroll District 2

Representative Gary Woods – Merrimack District 23