Despite Gov. Greg Abbott continuing to refuse to put forth a plan to return to normalcy or communicate something of the sort to citizens, one lawmaker is pressuring him to do so and putting forward his own proposals.
On Monday, State Rep. Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth) sent a letter to Gov. Greg Abbott, providing seven policy recommendations for a state plan to help Texas recover from the Chinese coronavirus epidemic and the resulting government-ordered closures.
“With Gov. Abbott formulating his plan for getting the state back to work, I sent him this letter today. It lists seven steps I would recommend to open things up while still ensuring the safety and health of Texans during this pandemic. It’s important we continue to do what we can to stop the spread of the virus. With that in mind, these are my seven recommendations to the Governor:
- Remove distinctions between essential and non-essential businesses.
- No prohibitions on public gatherings – including religious services and public parks. But must maintain social distancing and adhering to CDC guidelines.
- Open restaurants, gyms, salons, and similar businesses. Again, must maintain social distancing and adhere to hygiene standards. (For example, restaurants should space out tables, remove shareable items, etc.)
- Continue all waived regulations for six months.
- Continue shelter-in-place recommendations for those over 65 and those with underlying health issues.
- All Texas schools should remain closed for the remainder of this school year. Focus should be on getting ready for 2020-2021 academic year.
- Continue prevalence of testing – this might be the most important aspect. The more we test (especially for anti-bodies and immunity) the better we can adapt to certain situations.
“By utilizing these seven steps, Texans can get things moving again. We are taking care of our most vulnerable populations and ensuring livelihoods can be continued. It is still up to individual Texans to exercise responsibility – social distancing, proper hygiene, etc. But, I know we can do it and we’re up to the challenge. I look forward to seeing Gov. Abbott’s proposal. He has been a strong and steady leader during these difficult times. God bless Texas!”
While citizens can offer fact-based adjustments, additions, or edits to the individual points of Krause’s proposal, the Fort Worth lawmaker should be commended for stepping forward with serious policy recommendations.
It’s worth noting that thus far, Krause has done more to advance a Chinese coronavirus recovery plan than any other state elected official—more than Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, any member of the Texas Legislature, or even the governor himself.
Texas is crying out for leadership during this government-ordered crisis. And while Krause should be commended for coming forward, citizens should expect more from their other elected officials.
The state needs an orderly return to normalcy, and lawmakers must deliver.