HOUSTON – Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo’s order that required all residents over the age of 10 to wear face masks in public will now not carry a $1,000 fine, according to Gov. Greg Abbott.
During his news conference on Monday, Abbott said that his administration “strongly recommended” that residents wear a mask but said his executive order superseded any local order that carried a fine for not wearing a mask.
Last week, Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo signed an order requiring people to wear some form of mask or face a $1,000 fine and a possible 180 days in jail. Her order started today and was to be in place for 30 days.
KPRC 2 was able to confirm that the county order is still in place but there would be no fines imposed for people who don’t comply with the order. It’s unclear if someone could still receive jail time.
Hidalgo previously said the order would help keep people safe as officials work to reopen the county.
Her decision caused a lot of backlash within the community, with one local doctor filing a lawsuit that claims, “Hidalgo has exceeded her authority by implementing orders more restrictive than those of Gov. Greg Abbott, which take precedence.”
After Abbott’s press conference Monday, Hidalgo issued the following statement: