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Cash-Strapped NYC to Impose $1,000 Fines for Maskless Contrarians

'If it is a state law then the localities must enforce it...'

New York City plans to hand residents caught not wearing face coverings while in public a $1,000 fine, according to city officials.

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced on Tuesday that the city is putting the new penalty in place because coronavirus cases rose above 3% for the first time in months.

“We don’t want to fine people, but if we have to, we will,” he said, according to Reuters.

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The city also is desperately trying to find creative ways of generating revenue to offset the expenses it has incurred even as its most wealthy residents flee for greener pastures.

And yet de Blasio has refused to cut costs by, for example, asking public employees to pay for healthcare or scaling back other expensive perks that the state and federal governments have refused to pay for.

Police officers and New York state health officials will have the authority to enforce the rule, de Blasio said.

However, to ensure that the rule only applies to those acting out in protest of the authoritarian restrictions, officials will be instructed to offer a mask to an offending scofflaw before slapping the individual with a fine.

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The city’s transportation agency already fines individuals $50 if they are caught not wearing a mask while riding public transportation.

De Blasio said on Wednesday that no one was fined on the first day of the mask crackdown.

He added that city employees distributed thousands of masks to individuals on Tuesday.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, however, warned that “public education” would not be enough to enforce the fine.

The two liberal Democrats have frequently been in disagreement about managing the virus, leading to a back-and-forth power dispute even as both try to heap blame on President Donald Trump.

“The local governments must do compliance, I’ve said that hundreds of times,” Cuomo said during a Wednesday press conference, according to PIX-11.

“If it is a state law then the localities must enforce it,” he continued. “Localities and we’re talking Orange, Rockland, New York City, Nassau that has a couple of communities infected.”

Cuomo also threatened to assemble a task force if New York City officials do not enforce the $1,000 fine.

“I would need the local governments to assign a number of their police to the state police for a task force,” Cuomo said. “And then I will enforce it with a task force and then I will ticket people who don’t wear masks because that will save lives.”

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