In a letter issued Wednesday to Texas emergency management officials, State Rep. Mike Lang (R–Granbury) wrote a scathing rebuke of policies put in place to combat the Chinese coronavirus that have caused significant damage to the state’s economy and small businesses.

In his letter to the Texas Department of Emergency Management (TDEM), Lang notes the list of “essential” businesses provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is purely “advisory” in nature and should not be considered a directive.

“The list wisely recognizes that local leaders understand their community best, and that a directive from the top should allow for some flexibility.” Lang’s letter states:

“After listening to the owners discuss all of the precautions they are willing and able to take, and combined with the fact that some of the mandates listed under [Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s] Executive Order GA-14 are unconstitutional and cannot be enforced due to the Constitutional separation of powers, I decided that it is in the best interests of the State of Texas that all businesses in House District 60 be designated essential.”

Lang’s letter comes at a time when small-business owners across Texas are growing furious with Gov. Abbott’s office for putting out very little information about when the shutdown will end, with some business owners deciding to move forward with plans to open anyway.

On Wednesday, Abbott told WBAP radio that he will reveal plans at his next press conference to reopen more businesses around the first week of May.

Matt Stringer

Matthew Stringer is from Odessa, TX and serves as a West Texas Correspondent for Texas Scorecard.