The conflict between Texas Governor Greg Abbott and local governments over authority to issue public health mandates is under consideration by the Texas Supreme Court after oral arguments earlier this month challenging Abbott’s 2021 anti-mask executive order. Meanwhile, nearly a dozen bills had been filed in the state legislature to address COVID-19 specifically. Speaking to Law360, the firm’s David Coale said legislators should be wary of making drastic changes relating to COVID-19 protections because the underlying law, the Texas Disaster Act, is meant to cover much more than the current pandemic. “If the law is passed and it’s got loose ends in it, or it’s not precisely tailored to be consistent with traditional legislative power, all we’re going to do is have round two of this in five years or 20 years, or whenever we have the next pandemic,” Coale said. “And it won’t be a pandemic, it’ll be something else.”
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