AUSTIN, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is threatening to sue the city of Austin and Travis County after local officials decided to keep orders requiring face masks inside businesses in place.
The statewide mask mandate was officially lifted on Wednesday but local health officials believe they should still be required.READ MORE: Virtual Learning May Remain An Option At Some North Texas School Districts
Travis County Judge Andy Brown and Austin Mayor Steve Adler disapproved the ending of the mandate and decided to continue requiring masks in their areas until at least April 15, CBS Austin reported.
Violators can face up to $2,000 in fines, according to the local order.
Paxton said the order goes against Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order that states local officials cannot impose limits unless there are certain conditions met under the Department of State Health Services guidelines. Private businesses, however, are able to keep mask requirements in place as they see fit.
.@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/Bz5DQsw8IVREAD MORE: Firefighters Battle Raging Fire At Addison Apartment Complex
Otherwise, on behalf of the State of Texas, I will sue you. pic.twitter.com/IP9UpZPplh
— Texas Attorney General (@TXAG) March 10, 2021
“It does not rest with jurisdictions like the City of Austin or Travis County or their local health authorities. Nor do they have the authority to threaten fines for non-compliance,” Paxton said in a letter to Brown and Adler.
“If you continue to flout the law in this manner, we’ll take you to court again and you will lose again,” Paxton added.MORE NEWS: Texas COVID-19 Hospitalizations At Lowest Level Since Last June
The state attorney general gave Brown and Adler until 6 p.m. Wednesday to rescind any local orders or else he’d sue.