SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is threatening to sue Travis County and Austin over face mask requirements.
The statewide mandate expired at midnight, but the city of Austin and Travis County are continuing to require businesses to make masks mandatory in their establishments.
Paxton tweeted Wednesday,” We have already taken you to court under similar circumstances. You lost. If you continue to flout the law in this manner we’ll take you to court again and you will lose again.”
He’s giving health authorities in Austin and Travis County until 6 pm Wednesday “to rescind any local mask mandates or business-operating restrictions, retract any related public statements, and come into full compliance with GA-34. Otherwise, on behalf of the State of Texas, I will sue you.”
Austin Mayor Steve Adler has responded to Paxton’s threat of a lawsuit:
“Judge Brown and I will continue to do everything within our power, continuing existing health authority orders and using every tool available to us to reduce the spread of the virus, to keep as many people as alive as possible, to safely open up schools to more in-person learning and safely more businesses. We will fight Governor Abbott and Attorney General Paxton’s assault against doctors and data for as long as we possibly can.”
“Wearing masks is perhaps the most important thing we can do to slow the spread of COVID-19, to further open schools to more students for in-person learning, and to increasingly open businesses safely while minimizing the risk of any need to pull back. The Governor’s order and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s efforts to end mask mandates creates ambiguity about masks where none should exist.”
“I believe leaders need to be clear and unambiguous in their communications and messaging about masking. Masks work! The Governor and Attorney General are simply wrong. So again, #MaskUpATX.”
.@MayorAdler & @AndyBrownATX, you and local health authorities have until 6:00pm today to rescind any mask mandates or business-operating restrictions and come into full compliance with GA-34 ➡️ https://t.co/Bz5DQsw8IV
Otherwise, on behalf of the State of Texas, I will sue you. pic.twitter.com/IP9UpZPplh
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) March 10, 2021