Arkansas Senate votes to refund virus fines to businesses

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A sign instructing shoppers to wear masks to protect against the spread of COVID-19 is posted at a business in San Antonio, Wednesday, June 24, 2020. Cases of COVID-19 have spiked in Texas and the governor is encouraging people to wear masks in public and stay home if possible. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — The Arkansas Senate has voted to refund the fines the state has collected from some businesses for violating coronavirus safety rules.

The Senate on Thursday approved the measure by a 19-14 vote as Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s office said he would make a significant announcement about the emergency he declared for the pandemic.

The bill now heads to the House.

Hutchinson has faced pushback from some fellow Republicans over the virus safety rules, including a mask mandate and capacity limits for bars and restaurants.

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