What are the legalities of enforcing the mask mandate in Houston?

HOUSTON – A month after being told to cover up, Houston’s mayor now says people who don’t follow the governor’s mask order could be fined.

“When you’re in public, you’re around other persons, please put on your mask or you run the risk of receiving a citation,” Mayor Sylvester Turner said on Monday.

The mayor said the first violation comes with a warning and the second with a $250 citation from the police, which is in line with Gov. Greg Abbott’s executive order.

“I think that’s a good idea. I feel like they should’ve did this from the jump and it wouldn’t have gotten so bad,” said Monique Chambers.

But not everyone supports the move.

“The fine is just, that’s ridiculous,” said Lynn Tyler. “That’s too much.”

The governor’s order says people can’t be sent to jail for not wearing a mask, but what about not paying the fine?

“Ultimately, nobody goes to jail because they can’t pay,” said KPRC 2 legal analyst Brian Wice.