If you're going to have mask mandates for the children of New Jersey, why not at least get the opinions of the parents and teachers involved? That's exactly what New Jersey's top Republican, Assembly Minority leader Jon Bramnick, did last Friday morning.

Bramnick came on my New Jersey 101.5 show to explain.

"It's completely nuts," says Bramnick, "We've had hearings in the state of New Jersey on the state dirt, the state bird, the state song, the state candy, but they have not had one hearing on whether a 7-year-old child should be wearing a mask on a playground in the state of New Jersey.

"So I said: Wait a minute, why can't we have teachers, parents, and experts testify? So of course, the Legislature wouldn't do it, Murphy wouldn't do it, so I said I'll do it."

The hearing was conducted June 11. See it on Bramnick's Facebook page and lacked participation from the majority Democratic caucus. Bramnick wanted to hear from both sides of the issue.

"Maybe there's somebody who wants an 8-year-old to wear masks on a playground, but at least we should have an opportunity for everyone to be heard. who's ever heard of democracy, a legislature that has no public hearings? no town hall meeting, nothing" You can't express your opinion. That to me is a disgrace"

Bramnick once had to propose legislation just to get New Jersey's leaders to talk to each other. What is Bramnick hoping will happen?

"What I've experienced is once I make these things public, what I've found in the past is that it does affect the Governor," says Bramnick. "They act like none of this matters but the truth of the matter is when the public starts to speak up and its public and the media starts to pick up on it, all of a sudden you'll see the Murphy administration respond, they'll say it has nothing to do with  the hearing but actually it does."

Some would want Bramnick to just scream at the governor but he says, "This hate the governor nonsense is a waste of time. What you need to do is prove to the public, 51% of the public that what we believe in as policy is the right policy and then the governor must come along especially in an election year."

Bramnick himself is running for state Senate in Legislative District 21.

Bramnick's hearing Friday was about education, not confrontation.

"I try to do it from the standpoint of trying to educate as opposed to just saying it's us vs them,"  which Bramnick believes doesn't work.

"If I'm calling you names no one's joining me just because I'm calling you names, I just don't buy it."

Here's hoping the Murphy administration buys the pleas and voices of this hearing, for our sake and the sake of the children.

The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Steve Trevelise. Any opinions expressed are Steve's own. Steve Trevelise is on New Jersey 101.5 Monday-Thursday from 7pm-11pm. Follow him on Twitter @realstevetrev.

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