The state of Texas is warning the city of San Antonio and Bexar County that their coronavirus order are unlawful.
Attorney General Ken Paxton sent a letter to Mayor Ron Nirenberg and County Judge Nelson Wolff saying the city and county orders are superseded by an order put in place by the state of Texas, and could confuse residents of Bexar County and San Antonio.
“Unfortunately, a few Texas counties and cities seem to have confused recommendations with requirements and have grossly exceeded state law to impose their own will on private citizens and businesses. These letters seek to avoid any public confusion as we reopen the state,” Paxton said. “I trust that local officials will act quickly to correct any orders that unlawfully conflict with Texas law and Governor Abbott’s Executive Orders.”
Among the issues Paxton takes issue with is a requirement for essential businesses to provide masks. According to Paxton and Executive Order GA-21, local authorities can not require such things.
Paxton said other local orders enacted by both Nirenberg and Wolff also conflict with the governor's orders.
No response yet from the city and county.
Paxton sent similar letters to Travis and Dallas counties.
Mayor Nirenberg responded to the letter calling it political. "The orders are already compliant with the governor's orders, they always have been," Nirenberg said. "So, we'll be revising orders as it pertains to the guidance here locally, but not because of the letter."
"This is not unlike what we've seen from the AG's office recently, in terms of firing off a political letter like this," Nirenberg said. "So, on the merits, we're not concerned, but it doesn't stop the AG from seeking a cheap, political headline."