Abbott won't end health measures until Texas legislature codifies his mask bans and vaccine requirements into law


Governor Abbott is not keen on ending health measures that he placed Texas in during the hard Covid-19 period because he is waiting for the state legislature to codify his mask and vaccine bans into law.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott.Photo byGage Skidmore / Flickr

As he waits for the state legislature to codify his mask and vaccination prohibitions into law, Governor Greg Abbott is hesitant to end the health precautions he imposed on Texas during the difficult Covid-19 time.

According to James Barragán, a reporter for The Texas Tribune who covers politics, Governor Abbott's justification for maintaining the proclamation is quite clear.

The Texas Governor has been quoted saying:

I'm going to keep that in place until the legislators codify my executive orders that ban mask mandates, that ban forced vaccines and things like that. I want to see that get passed".

The Legislature has the ability to act or not, but given the Republican majority it now holds, "it appears that will certainly occur".

By doing so, two of Governor Abbott's coronavirus-related executive orders would be made into law, bringing the total number of such orders to more than 35 since the beginning of the global pandemic three years ago.

As long as the disaster declaration remains in effect, each one carries the force of law in its respective jurisdiction and will remain that way.

Since the practice was prohibited via an executive order, this Republican Governor has been increasing the amount of pressure he is putting on legislators to enact those limitations on towns and counties through legislation.

Governor Abbott's office has maintained for several months that it does not have any plans to join the ranks of those other states that are dropping the orders.

They released a statement in December stating that doing so "would allow local governments to enforce once again occupancy limits, mask mandates, and vaccine mandates."

In light of the present public health disaster that has been declared, Abbott has been permitted to issue a number of executive orders that he would not have been able to issue otherwise without the additional powers that the proclamation brings.

Changes to voting procedures, business closures and reopenings, and the two directives Abbott cited earlier this week are some recent examples of these changes.

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