After Gov. Greg Abbott gave his blessing to a mask mandate in Bexar County that would require businesses to mandate the wearing of masks or face steep fines, other local governments are beginning to follow suit.
An increasing number of lawmakers in the state capitol are speaking out against the new Abbott mask order.
“The games being played by our governor are disrespectful to Texans,” State Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R–Arlington) told Texas Scorecard. “Our state deserves leadership, and instead, our governor is teaming up with local liberals to suppress hardworking small businesses.”
State Rep. Valoree Swanson (R–Spring) agreed.
“If every grocery store in a county has that restriction, individuals who cannot wear a mask will not be physically able to buy food for their loved ones,” said Swanson. “These restrictions not only take away the private property rights of the business owner but also take away the individual rights of those who wish to do business with them.”
Although he said he understood “the need to properly educate the public, and that’s a good role for government,” State Rep. Dan Flynn (R–Van) told Texas Scorecard the mask orders are unconstitutional.
“Texans need to make their own decisions, and government needs to leave people alone,” said Flynn. “Fining Texans is unconstitutional and only serves to delay the need for urgent reopening of Texas businesses.”
In a post on Twitter shortly after Abbott’s statement, State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (R–Bedford) said, “In the last six months [Abbott] has gone from the most popular GOP in TX to a lame duck Governor,” and predicted he would be “massively booed” at the upcoming Republican Party of Texas convention next month.
“History will not be kind to his lukewarm accomplishments or his lack of leadership. Legacy has been ruined,” he added.
These latest comments come in addition to previous statements from State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R–Tyler), who compared Abbott to a king, and State Rep. Mike Lang (R–Arlington), who referred to the mask order as “another example of government overreach in this unconstitutional COVID shutdown by the governor.”