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Local News

Texas AG Ken Paxton threatens to sue City of Austin over mask mandate

todayMarch 10, 2021

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Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is threatening to sue the City of Austin after the city decided to keep its mask mandate and COVID-19 orders in place despite Governor Greg Abbott’s order to lift those protocols Wednesday statewide.

Paxton released a statement Wednesday on Twitter saying, “You and local health authorities have until 6:00 p.m. today to rescind any mask mandates or business-operating restrictions and come into full compliance with GA-34. Otherwise, on behalf of the State of Texas, I will sue you.”

Paxton sent a letter to Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Travis County Judge Andy Brown telling them that it is not up to local jurisdictions to decide how businesses will operate, and businesses are able to decide for themselves whether to require masks or capacity restrictions.

In July, Adler said they passed an ordinance that the local health authority will have the force of law in Austin and Travis County.

Austin City Council Member Greg Casar responded to Paxton’s tweet, saying, “while El Paso rolled out makeshift morgues, you sued them for protecting residents. While Texans froze in the dark, you fled the state for warmer weather. Now, you’re going out of your way again to win political points, even if it costs lives. We’ll see you in court.”


Written by: Michelle Layton

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