The Back MicThe Back Mic: Localities with Mask Mandates Compiled, House Democrat Confirms Overseas Trip, Texas Capitol Flooded

This week — local governments are listed with “unlawful” mask mandates, a Democrat confirms her Portugal vacation during the quorum break, and a rainstorm causes flooding in the Texas Capitol.
August 20, 2021

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Localities With Mask Mandates in Violation of Governor’s Order

A bevy of school districts, cities, and counties have issued their own mask mandates in direct contradiction to Governor Greg Abbott’s executive order prohibiting such policies.

The question is currently in litigation, but the latest development resulted in a temporary order from the Supreme Court of Texas halting local mask mandates while the case is fully considered. School districts and other localities then claimed en masse that the order did not apply to them, and plan to continue the policies until a final verdict is reached.

In the meantime, the Office of the Attorney General has compiled a list of local entities “unlawfully imposing mask mandates.” Those localities are listed below:

  • Aldine ISD *
  • Austin ISD *
  • Basis Texas
  • Bexar County
  • Brownsville ISD *
  • Cameron County
  • Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD
  • Cedar Hill ISD **
  • Coppell ISD **
  • Crowley ISD *
  • Dallas County
  • Dallas ISD
  • Del Valle ISD *
  • DeSoto ISD *
  • Donna ISD *
  • Dripping Springs ISD **
  • Eanes ISD
  • Eagle Pass ISD
  • Edcouch-Elsa ISD *
  • Edgewood ISD *
  • Edinburg CISD *
  • El Paso ISD
  • Elgin ISD *
  • Fort Bend ISD **
  • Fort Sam Houston ISD *
  • Fort Worth ISD **
  • Galena Park ISD *
  • Galveston ISD *
  • Grand Prairie ISD **
  • Harlandale ISD
  • Harris County
  • Hays County
  • Hidalgo County
  • Hidalgo ISD *
  • Highland Park ISD
  • Houston ISD *
  • Huffman ISD *
  • IDEA Public Schools
  • Judson ISD **
  • Killeen ISD **
  • La Joya ISD *
  • Lackland ISD *
  • Laredo ISD
  • Lasara ISD *
  • Leander ISD *
  • Manor ISD *
  • McAllen ISD
  • Mesquite ISD
  • North East ISD
  • Nueces County **
  • Paris ISD *
  • Pflugerville ISD *
  • Pharr-San Juan-Alamo ISD *
  • Randolph Fields ISD
  • Richardson ISD *
  • Round Rock ISD *
  • San Antonio ISD *
  • San Benito ISD
  • San Marcos ISD *
  • Sheldon ISD
  • Spring ISD *
  • Travis County
  • United ISD *
  • Vanguard Academy
  • West Oslo ISD

* Currently not in compliance and letter sent by the Texas Attorney General’s Office.

The Texan Tumbler

** Back in compliance after initial violation.

House Democrat Admits to Leaving the Country During Quorum Break

Rep. Jessica González (D-Dallas) admitted this week to leaving the country during House Democrats’ quorum break spectacle, to marry her fiancé in Portugal.

It had been widely reported that González and her fiancé, along with Rep. Julie Johnson (D-Farmers Branch) and her wife, had vacationed in Portugal at the beginning of August. When asked, González disputed the accuracy of such reports.

“No one has shown proof. These are rumors, period. End of story,” she said at the time.

But now, González has confirmed that she was overseas. “I made the decision not to share where I was so that my wife and I could get married in privacy,” she told the Dallas Morning News.

“I wanted us to have this special day, surrounded by a few of our friends and loved ones.”

At the time of her wedding ceremony, House Democrats were nearing one month of a successful break of quorum — a stretch that ended for the first time yesterday.

“I can’t apologize for getting married to the person I love,” González concluded, “but I know there are some who, in good faith, have criticized the timing of this decision, and I am sorry if doing so now distracted for even one moment from our vital work to protect democracy.”

Texas Capitol Extension Flooded Over the Weekend

Legislators, staffers, and other employees were surprised this past Sunday with a flash flood that found its way to the hallways and offices of the Texas Capitol extension.

Pictures and videos circulated across social media showing the water damage. According to the State Preservation Board, the flood occurred when a torrential downpour beset Austin, causing a storm drain to clog which backed up the gutters and pushed water into the underground building.

Chris Currens, director of special projects for the State Preservation Board, which oversees the upkeep of the capitol and other state properties, chalked the situation up to “a fluke.”

“Twenty years ago we had rain events very similar, high rate of rainfall, and a similar problem in a different area and it’s not unlikely to happen,” he added.

“Little by little one or two pieces gets in and over time you get that combined with the high rate of rainfall and you can have something like this happen.”

Crews were able to clean up the mess in a matter of hours, but Curren and the board are still monitoring the extension for signs of water damage.

Shortly after the news circulated, Governor Greg Abbott said he was in contact with the board and that “It’s all hands on deck” to fix the problem.

Lawmakers and staff were back to work as scheduled on Monday morning, unencumbered by whatever lingering effects the flooding had.


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Brad Johnson

Brad Johnson is a senior reporter for The Texan and an Ohio native who graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2017. He is an avid sports fan who most enjoys watching his favorite teams continue their title drought throughout his cognizant lifetime. In his free time, you may find Brad quoting Monty Python productions and trying to calculate the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.