As some Texas businesses prepare to partially reopen on Friday as part of the first phase of Gov. Greg Abbott’s plan to reopen Texas, many Texans have taken issue with the speed—or lack thereof—of the phased approach previewed earlier this week.

Now even more lawmakers are joining the chorus, demanding a swifter timeline for the reopening of all businesses.

The first phase of the plan allows select businesses—such as retail, restaurants, and movie theaters—to reopen on Friday, albeit it at a reduced 25 percent capacity. Other businesses—such as salons, bars, and gyms—will

State Rep. Briscoe Cain (R–Deer Park) has taken to Twitter, loudly requesting that Abbott “OPEN THE ECONOMY NOW.”

Cain has also encouraged businesses to defy closing orders, suggesting “they can’t jail us all.”

Indeed, in recent days, some small businesses have reopened—or made plans to reopen—in defiance of orders to stay closed. Perhaps the most notable case is Salon À la Mode in Dallas, which has seen its owner, Shelley Luther, under siege from local officials after she reopened her salon last Friday while implementing social distancing and safety precautions.

After Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins sent her a cease-and-desist letter, threatening arrest, the Texas Freedom Caucus sent a letter to Jenkins, urging him to rescind the order, adding that they did not accept his “tyranny” and comparing him to Santa Anna.

State Rep. James White (R–Hillister) didn’t mince words in his message to Abbott, emphatically tweeting, “Respectfully, ENOUGH!!! You are the only one that can STOP this!!! ENOUGH!!!”

In a letter addressed to Abbott, State Rep. Jeff Leach (R–Plano) called on businesses not included in the original first phase of the reopening plan, such as barbershops and personal trainers, to be allowed to open in an effort to keep their finances afloat.

Even State Rep. Dan Flynn (R–Van), who is often aligned with the Republican establishment in Austin, has joined the call, similarly imploring Abbott to open up remaining businesses.

Other Republican lawmakers—including State Rep. Steve Toth (The Woodlands), State Rep. Jonathan Stickland (Bedford), State Rep. Mike Lang (Granbury), State Sen. Angela Paxton (McKinney), and State Sen. Bob Hall (Edgewood)—had previously urged Abbott to reopen the state economy ahead of his announcement this past Monday.

Though Abbott has previously stated he did not expect additional businesses to open up until mid-May, tentatively offering May 18 as a potential date for the second phase of the state’s reopening, growing pressure from citizens and lawmakers alike could alter those plans.

Brandon Waltens

Brandon serves as the Senior Editor for Texas Scorecard. After managing successful campaigns for top conservative legislators and serving as a Chief of Staff in the Texas Capitol, Brandon moved outside the dome in order to shine a spotlight on conservative victories and establishment corruption in Austin. @bwaltens


The Deafening Silence of Fear

It's better we live courageously, fighting for rights and freedom, than cowardly, capitulating to tyranny out of fear, for a little comfort.