Texas Governor: Executive Order Prohibiting Mandating Masks

Texas Governor: Executive Order Prohibiting Mandating Masks

Austin, TX (STL.News) Governor Abbott Issues Executive Order 36 Prohibiting Government Entities From Mandating Masks

Executive Order

BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF TEXAS

Executive Department
Austin, Texas
May 18, 2021

EXECUTIVE ORDER
GA 36

Relating to the prohibition of governmental entities and officials from mandating face coverings or restricting activities in response to the COVID-19 disaster.

WHEREAS, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, issued a disaster proclamation on March 13, 2020, certifying under Section 418.014 of the Texas Government Code that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) poses an imminent threat of disaster for all counties in the State of Texas; and

WHEREAS, I issued Executive Order GA-34 on March 2, 2021, to open Texas 100 percent and remove face-covering requirements; and

WHEREAS, since then, COVID-19 hospitalizations and the rate of new COVID-19 cases have continued their steady decline; and

WHEREAS, Executive Order GA-34 specifically provides that “no person may be required by any jurisdiction to wear or to mandate the wearing of a face covering,” and, notwithstanding that order, some local governmental entities have caused confusion by nonetheless purporting to require face coverings; and

WHEREAS, Executive Order GA-34 also provides that “there are no COVID-19-related operating limits for any business or other establishment,” that any “conflicting order issued by local officials in response to the COVID-19 disaster” is superseded, and that all relevant statutes are suspended to the extent necessary to preclude inconsistent local orders; and

WHEREAS, to further ensure statewide uniformity, and based on the continued improvement of conditions in Texas, revised standards are appropriate to achieve the least restrictive means of combatting COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, in the Texas Disaster Act of 1975, the legislature charged the governor with the responsibility “for meeting … the dangers to the state and people presented by disasters” under Section 418.011 of the Texas Government Code, and expressly granted the governor broad authority to fulfill that responsibility; and

WHEREAS, under Section 418.012, the “governor may issue executive orders … hav[ing] the force and effect of law;” and

WHEREAS, under Section 418.016(a), the “governor may suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business … if strict compliance with the provisions … would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with a disaster;” and

WHEREAS, under Section 418.018(c), the “governor may control ingress and egress to and from a disaster area and the movement of persons and the occupancy of premises in the area;” and

WHEREAS, under Section 418.173, the legislature authorized as “an offense,” punishable by a fine up to $1,000, any “failure to comply with the [state emergency management plan] or with a rule, order, or ordinance adopted under the plan;”

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Greg Abbott, Governor of Texas, by virtue of the power and authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of Texas, do hereby order the following on a statewide basis effective immediately:

1.

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Author: Maryam Shah