The decision by Gov. Greg Abbott to allow local governments to force mask mandates is being met with deep criticism from Republican lawmakers.

The governor cheered the executive order of Bexar County’s Democrat county judge issuing $1,000 per incident fines to businesses that do not require customers to enter wearing masks.

“Government cannot require individuals to wear masks. However, pursuant to my plan, local governments can require stores and business to require masks,” Abbott told a television crew. He added that this had been his “plan … all along.”

That drew the ire of State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R–Tyler), the former chairman of the Texas Freedom Caucus in the state House.

He wrote on Twitter: “Abbott’s words make sense coming from the governor of California, not Texas. ENOUGH! We don’t need a king in the governor’s mansion or in city hall. Let Texans decide. No more parenting from Austin.”

Meanwhile, State Rep. Mike Lang (R–Granbury) told Texas Scorecard that this is “another example of government overreach in this unconstitutional COVID shutdown by the governor.”

“I do not agree with Governor Abbott’s announcement that local governments can mandate stores and businesses to require masks. It should be left up to the individual businesses to decide whether they want patrons or employees to wear masks,” said Lang.

Michael Quinn Sullivan

Michael Quinn Sullivan is the publisher of Texas Scorecard. He is a native Texan, a graduate of Texas A&M, and an Eagle Scout. Previously, he has worked as a newspaper reporter, magazine contributor, Capitol Hill staffer, and think tank vice president. Michael and his wife have three adult children, a son-in-law, and a dog. Michael is the author of three books, including "Reflections on Life and Liberty."