IssuesThe Back MicThe Back Mic: Abbott Teases Permanent Alcohol-to-Go, Lawmakers Request Salon Reopening and Emergency Resources for Nursing Homes

This week — Governor Abbott hints alcohol-to-go permanence, legislators continue to call for salons to reopen, and nursing home resources are advocated for.
May 1, 2020
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Abbott Teases Permanent Alcohol-to-Go Sales

After Monday’s executive order was announced, the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission confirmed that although restaurants may begin to serve a limited number of customers in-house starting today, they will also be able to continue to serve alcohol-to-go for the foreseeable future.

Abbott took to Twitter, tweeting “Alcohol-to-go sales can continue after May 1. From what I hear from Texans, we may just let this keep on going forever.”

The governor had previously lifted regulations prohibiting delivery or to-go options for alcoholic beverages in an attempt to allow businesses more revenue-producing options during the coronavirus pandemic.

Freedom Caucus Leads Legislators Asking Abbott to Reopen Texas

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Citing unemployment numbers and listing their own plan for the reopening of the state, the Texas House Freedom Caucus released a letter last week to the governor stating that their “constituents demand that the economy be opened back up today.”

After Abbott made his Monday announcement regarding his plan for Texas’ reopening, other Republican legislators came out in support of opening businesses like nail or hair salons which were not included in the governor’s order.

These legislators include Reps. Cole Hefner (R-Mt. Pleasant), Stan Lambert (R-Abilene), Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa), Jeff Leach (R-Plano), Ben Leman (R-Anderson), Jared Patterson (R-Frisco), Scott Sanford (R-McKinney), Drew Springer (R-Muenster), and James White (R-Hillister).

Requests for Long-term Care Facilities 

A letter signed by 63 legislators of both parties and spearheaded by Rep. James Talarico (D-Round Rock) was sent to Governor Abbott advocating for long-term care centers in order to “defend our elderly Texans, Texans with disabilities, and the Texans on the frontline serving these communities.”

Specifically, the lawmakers made three requests:

  • Emergency funding, particularly to fund “direct-care staff wages and personal protective equipment”
  • Transparent reporting “of COVID-19 deaths and cases”
  • Mandatory testing made available for “every employee or resident” in such facilities

“Long-term care facilities like nursing homes, state supported living centers, and group homes are now the epicenters of the COVID-19 epidemic,” the letter reads.

The letter was signed by the chairs of both the Republican and Democrat caucuses; Reps. Stephanie Klick (R-Fort Worth) and Chris Turner (D-Grand Prairie).

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McKenzie Taylor

McKenzie Taylor

McKenzie Taylor serves as Operations Manager and resident plate-spinner for The Texan. Previously, she worked as State Representative Kyle Biedermann’s Capitol Director during the 85th legislative session before moving to Fort Worth to manage Senator Konni Burton’s campaign. In her free time, you might find her enjoying dog memes, staring at mountains, or proctoring personality tests.