Home » Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton threatened to sue Austin over mask mandate. The city isn’t backing down.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton threatened to sue Austin over mask mandate. The city isn’t backing down.

by

 

 

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton threatened to sue Travis County and the City of Austin if officials don’t back down on local orders that continue to require masks despite Gov. Greg Abbott ending the statewide mask mandate on Wednesday.

Austin and Travis County public health leaders recently announced they would continue to require masks, even though Abbott forbade local authorities from superseding his order. County judges can order COVID-19 restrictions if hospitalizations from the virus rise above 15% of the bed capacity in that hospital region for seven straight days.

Violating the city’s public health order would be a Class C misdemeanor, but the city planned to continue to only enforce “the most egregious cases,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said in a video message posted late Tuesday before Paxton’s announcement.

“The decision to require masks or otherwise impose COVID-19-related operating limits is expressly reserved to private businesses on their own premises. It does not rest with jurisdictions like the city of Austin or Travis County or their local health authorities,” Paxton wrote in a statement 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.”

Paxton gave local authorities until 6 p.m. to come into compliance with the governor’s order, rescind local COVID-19 mandates and retract related public statements. The order stated it would “supersede any conflicting order issued by local officials.”

“Otherwise, on behalf of the state of Texas,” Paxton wrote, “I will sue you.”

Neither the city nor the county is backing down.

“I listen to doctors, not to politicians like our attorney general,” Travis County Judge Andy Brown said in an interview, explaining that that is the message he hopes his residents receive. “It’s not the time to take our masks off.”

Brown said the continued mask mandate comes from the county’s public health authority — not from his emergency powers due to the pandemic. Under that interpretation, he says the county should be legally able to require masks. The discussion to remove a mask mandate shouldn’t begin until 80% of the county is vaccinated, Brown said. It’s currently at 9%, he said.

“We will fight Gov. Abbott and Attorney General Paxton’s assault against doctors and data for as long as we possibly can,” Adler said in a statement.

Paxton’s office successfully challenged Austin and Travis officials’ attempts to restrict holiday restaurant operations around New Year’s. But Brown argued that the order remained in effect over the holiday while the suit was being argued, and that there was demonstrated improvement as a result.

Texas on Wednesday became the most populous state in the country not to have a mask mandate, with over half the country requiring them in public. This comes as an average of nearly 200 people every day are dying in the state from COVID-19 and as new, more contagious COVID-19 variants spread in the state. Several leaders have criticized Abbott’s decision to end the mask mandate, including President Joe Biden, who called it a “big mistake.” Other lawmakers and some business owners have praised the move.

Efforts to vaccinate the population continue, with experts saying achieving herd immunity would take nearly every adult Texan being vaccinated. About 8.5% of Texas’ 29 million people were fully vaccinated as of Monday, and the state expanded vaccine eligibility to all Texans older than 50 on Wednesday. But the number of eligible recipients already outnumbered the supply prior to the expansion, meaning it may be hard to quickly secure an appointment.

While Abbott said city officials cannot require the use of masks in public, businesses can require them inside their venues. Dozens of businesses in Austin have announced they will independently require masks, as well as many more around the state. Some already fear backlash from customers.

Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo addressed the end of the mask mandate during a Wednesday press conference, saying that the fight against COVID-19 is ongoing — with only about 1 in 10 of county residents older than 16 who are fully vaccinated.

Hidalgo thanked business owners who are continuing to require masking in their businesses.

“We know you’ve been there from the beginning, leading, supporting our population,” she said. “And as unfair as it is, you carrying this burden of keeping the community safe, is an enormous public service.”

ARTICLE COURTESY TEXASTRIBUNE.ORG

You may also like

 

 

 

 

Arturo's Wood Fired Pizza Gallery About

Hours
Tuesday - Sunday:
11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
Closed
Dine in restaurant serving handmade, wood fired pizzas and beer.
 

Phone:(903) 951-1444

arturoswoodfiredpizza.com
 

221 Main St
Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

 

Phinesse Farms Winery About

Hours
Tuesday - Sunday:
11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
Closed
Dine in restaurant serving handmade, wood fired pizzas and beer.
 

Phone:(903) 951-1444

arturoswoodfiredpizza.com
 

221 Main St
Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

 

Backstory Brewery About

Hours
Tuesday - Thursday:
11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday - Saturday
12:00 PM - 12:00 AM
Sunday:
12:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Monday:
Closed
a production brewery located in beautiful downtown Sulphur Springs, Tx.
 

Phone: (903) 438-2337

backstorybrewery.com
 

211 Magnolia St
Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

 

San Remos About

Hours
Tuesday - Sunday:
11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
Closed
Dine in restaurant serving authentic Italian dishes, wine, beer and cocktails.
 

Phone:(903) 558-1200

sanremoitalian.com
 

226 Connally St
Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

 

Don Lalo's About

Hours
Tuesday - Sunday:
11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Monday
Closed
Dine in restaurant serving classic Tex-Mex dishes and cocktails.
 

Phone: (903) 558-1859

 

912 Gilmer St
Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

 

Tierra Del Sol About

Hours
Sunday- Saturday:
11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Offers a variety of Tex-Mex dishes, chips and salsa and drinks.
 

Phone: (903) 885-5845

 

1402 Mockingbird Ln
Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

 

Juan Pablos About

Hours
Sunday- Thursday:
11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday - Saturday
11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Offers a variety of slow smoked Texas BBQ meats with a relaxed vibe here in beautiful Sulphur Springs, TX. They have outdoor covered/ shaded seating for your dining pleasure.
 

Phone: (903) 885-0066

 

1216 Mockingbird Ln
Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

 

Los Mochis About

Hours
Sunday- Thursday:
11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday - Saturday
11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Offers a variety of slow smoked Texas BBQ meats with a relaxed vibe here in beautiful Sulphur Springs, TX. They have outdoor covered/ shaded seating for your dining pleasure.
 

Phone: (903) 919-3760

losmochistexmex.getbento.com
 

101 Gilmer St
Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

 

Slaughter's BBQ Oasis About

Hours
Wednesday - Saturday:
10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Offers a variety of slow smoked Texas BBQ meats with a relaxed vibe here in beautiful Sulphur Springs, TX. They have outdoor covered/ shaded seating for your dining pleasure.
 

Phone:  (903) 243-7187

slaughtersbbqoasis.com
 

1000 Gilmer St Suite Q
Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

 

Ihop About

Hours
Monday - Friday:
6:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Saturday:
24hrs
Sunday:
12:00 AM -10:00 PM
Long-standing chain serving a wide variety of pancakes & other American breakfast & diner fare.
 

Phone: (903) 885-2406

ihop.com
 

150 E Shannon Rd E
Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

 

Panda Express About

Hours
Monday - Sunday:
10:30 AM - 9:30 PM
Fast food  restaurant chain that serves American Chinese cuisine. With over 2,200 locations, it is the largest Asian-segment restaurant chain in the United States
 

Phone: (903) 439-3293

pandaexpress.com
 

150 E Shannon Rd E
Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

 

Broadway Buffet About

Hours
Monday - Thursday:
10:30 AM - 9:00 PM
Friday - Sunday:
10:30 AM - 9:30 PM
Takeout, Dine In, Delivery. Made to order Sushi, Burgers, Stir-Fry and other Asian Fusion menu items. Burgers, Sushi, Stir-fry and more!
 

Phone: (903) 885-7959

broadwaybuffettx.com
 

1145 S Broadway St

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

 

MAAK About

Hours
Sunday - Monday:
Closed
Tuesday - Saturday:
11 AM - 8:00 PM
Takeout, Dine In, Delivery. Made to order Sushi, Burgers, Stir-Fry and other Asian Fusion menu items. Burgers, Sushi, Stir-fry and more!
 

Phone: (903) 689-2334

themaak.com
 

 208 Main St

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

 

Sakura Sushi & Seafood Grill About

Hours
Wednesday - Monday
11 AM - 9:30 PM
Dine in sushi and seafood grill.
 

Phone: (903) 438-0088

sakurasushitx.com
 

 1408 S Broadway St suit 150

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

 

 Big Smith's BBQ  About

Hours
Monday - Friday
10:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Counter-serve chain offering fried fish & seafood combos, plus chicken & sides.
 

Phone: (903) 439-6067

ljsilvers.com
 

1338 S Broadway St

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

 

 Big Smith's BBQ  About

Hours
Sunday - Wednesday
10:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday - Saturday
10:30 AM - 12:00 AM
Established, no-nonsense BBQ institution preparing smoked meat & fried seafood dinners & sandwiches.
 

Phone: (903) 438-1547

 

4858 TX-154

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

Soulman's BBQ About

Hours
Sunday - Wednesday
10:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday - Saturday
10:30 AM - 12:00 AM
Casual counter-serve chain serving a variety of barbecue & sides.
 

Phone: (903) 919-3617

soulmans.com
 

1310 Hillcrest Dr N

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

Wing Stop About

Hours
Sunday - Wednesday
10:30 AM - 10:00 PM
Thursday - Saturday
10:30 AM - 12:00 AM
Casual counter-serve chain serving a variety of chicken wings & sides.
 

Phone: (903) 335-8431

wingstop.com
 

1602 S Broadway St

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

Chilis Grill & Bar About

Hours
Sunday - Thursday
10:45 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday - Saturday
10:45 AM - 12:00 AM
Family-friendly chain serving classic Tex-Mex & American fare in a Southwestern-style setting.
 

Phone: (903) 885-5242

chilis.com
 

128 Shannon Rd E
Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

Metro Diner About

Hours
Open 24/7
Comfort food with a flair.
 

Phone: (903) 885-6446

 

105 Industrial Dr W

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

El Charro Restaurant About

Hours
Saturday - Tuesday :
Closed
Wednesday - Thursday
11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Friday:
11:00 AM - 9:00 PM
Classic Tex-Mex dishes and more.
 

Phone: (903) 885-5669

 

215 College St

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

Here's 2 Us About

Hours
Tuesday - Friday:
11:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Saturday
11:00 AM - 1:00 AM
Sunday:
11:00 AM - 12:00 AM
Monday: Closed
Bar & restaurant atmosphere serving delicious burgers, sandwiches and more.
 

Phone: (903) 689-4563

 

109 N Davis St

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

Flip's Burgerland About

Hours
Monday:
11:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Tuesday - Saturday
11:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Sunday: Closed
Family restaurant atmosphere serving delicious burgers, sandwiches and more.
 

Phone: (903) 919-5031

 

210 Main St

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

Pioneer Cafe About

Hours
Monday - Friday
6:00 AM - 2:00 PM
Saturday - Sunday
Closed
Family restaurant atmosphere serving delicious country food, breakfast, sandwiches, desserts and more.
 

Phone: (903) 885-7773

 

307 Main St

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

Muddy Jakes About

Hours
Sunday - Thursday
11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Friday - Saturday
11:00 AM - 2:00 AM
Bar and family restaurant atmosphere serving delicious steaks, burgers, fries, sandwiches, desserts and more.
 

Phone: (903) 885-1600

muddyjakes.com
 

229 Main St

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

Burgers and Fries About

Hours
Sunday:
Closed
Monday - Friday:
10:30AM - 7:00PM
Saturday:
10:30AM - 6:00PM
Serving delicious burgers, fries, sandwiches, desserts and more.
 

Phone: (903) 885-9496

 

208 College St

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

Bodacious BBQ About

Hours
Sunday-Saturday
10:30 AM-8:30 PM
Serving delicious BBQ , sandwiches, desserts and more.
 

Phone: (903) 885-6456

bodaciousbbqsulphursprings.com
 

1228 S Broadway St

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

Roma's Italian Restaurant About

Hours
Tuesday - Saturday:
8:00 AM - 9:00PM
Sunday:
8:00AM - 3:00PM
Monday:
Closed
Serving delicious Italian specialties, sandwiches, salads, soups, desserts and more.
 

Phone: (903) 919-5100

 

400 Shannon Rd E

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

Haystacks  About

Hours
Tuesday - Saturday:
8:00 AM - 9:00PM
Sunday:
8:00AM - 3:00PM
Monday:
Closed
Serving delicious sandwiches, salads, soups, desserts and more for 20 years! We look forward to serving you breakfast or lunch!
 

Phone: (903) 689-2991

haystackstexas.com
 

206 Main St

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

 

Redneck Bar and Grill  About

Hours
Sunday-Monday:
Closed
Tuesday- Thursday:
11am-2pm
5pm-8pm
Friday - Saturday:
11:00am - 9:00pm
Serving delicious sandwiches, salads, soups, desserts and more for 20 years! We look forward to serving you breakfast or lunch!
 

Phone: (903) 885-1600

 

211 Main St

Sulphur Springs, TX 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

Corner Grub House About

Hours

Monday - Friday:
7:30am - 4:00pm
Saturday:
10:00am - 4:00pm
Serving delicious sandwiches, salads, soups, desserts and more for 20 years! We look forward to serving you breakfast or lunch!
 

Phone: (903) 885-9225

 

cornergrubhouse.com

 

 

120 Main St.
Sulphur Springs, Tx 75482

 

CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS

 

 

Plain & Fancy About
120 Main St.
Sulphur Springs, Tx 75482

Hours
Monday - Friday:
7:30am - 4:00pm
Saturday:
10:00am - 4:00pm

Serving delicious sandwiches, salads, soups, desserts and more for 20 years! We look forward to serving you breakfast or lunch! Serving delicious sandwiches, salads, soups, desserts and more for 20 years! We look forward to serving you breakfast or lunch!
(903) 885-9225
plainandfancyshoppe.com
CLICK HERE FOR DIRECTIONS