Senate Bill 29 is currently moving forward in the Texas Senate. Legislators voted 7 to 3 to send it to the full Senate for consideration. The bill bans the mandatory use of masks and vaccines, and also bans local governments from closing businesses and schools.
“Short answer: this only applies to COVID-19 and its subordinate variants. This does not apply to any future unknown virus,” spokesman Brian Birdwell (R-Granbury) said.
Birdwell’s bill comes 3 years after businesses closed, schools were closed, and some organizations needed vaccines and masks during the pandemic.
Several witnesses were present during the trial.
“Of course we cannot erase what happened to millions of Texans, their businesses, their families and their future. We cannot even attempt to recover material or other damages. What we can do is ensure these mistakes don’t happen again,” said Rebecca Hardy of Texans for Vaccine Choice.
“I want to be clear on the principles for the future so that lockdowns, mandates, and wax mandates never again fall on the people of Texas,” said Tom Glass, Texas Constitution Enforcement Group.
Dr. Valerie Smith, speaking on behalf of the Texas Medical Association and the Texas Pediatric Society, raised the alarm.
“Another deadly COVID-19 outbreak could be isolated locally or regionally, so limiting local government action could hinder this response. These organizations may need some of these measures to prevent hospitals and doctors’ offices from being overwhelmed and unable to serve patients,” said Dr. Valerie Smith.
Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who has fought for the use of masks during the pandemic, hopes it doesn’t become law.
“We don’t want to force anyone to wear a mask or do anything, but if doctors feel like something has to happen in the next surge to keep people safe, we need to listen to the science,” Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said. . .
An identical bill was filed at Texas House. Both must be passed in order for the law to reach the governor’s table.