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Texas Governor Loses Bid to Block City, County Mask Mandates

Jan. 6, 2022, 7:56 PM

Harris County can continue to impose mask requirements despite Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order banning localities from doing so, a state appeals court said Thursday in affirming a lower court’s injunction.

The Texas Court of Appeals, Third District, agreed that Harris County, which includes Houston, met its burden of demonstrating an overreach of executive authority.

It also rejected arguments by Abbott and Attorney General Ken Paxton that the state Disaster Act gives the governor authority to displace local county mandates. Instead, the court affirmed that local counties and leaders have power to impose safety rules during declared emergencies.

“We ...