The Back MicThe Back Mic: Candidate Seeks to Limit Governor’s Power, Texas Democrats Join Convention, Lawmakers Request Religious Visitation at Nursing Homes

This week — a candidate will file legislation to limit the governor’s executive power, two Texas Democrats speak at the national convention, and lawmakers request flexibility for religious visits at long-term care facilities.
August 21, 2020
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Texas House Candidate Will File Bill to Limit Abbott’s Executive Power

On Monday, Bryan Slaton, who defeated incumbent state Rep. Dan Flynn (R-Canton) in the July primary runoff election, announced his intention to file a bill aimed at limiting “executive overreach” in light of Governor Abbott’s response to COVID-19.

“Republicans can’t only oppose executive overreach when Democrat Presidents are the ones doing it,” said Slaton. 

Urging the governor to lean on the legislative branch to enact the measures he’s been spearheading via executive orders, Slaton stated that “Governor Abbott’s executive overreach was the most frequently criticized policy by voters at the polls” during his campaign.

In November’s general election, Slaton will face Democrat Bill Brannon, though he is expected to win handily in the heavily red district. 

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After Criticisms About Lack of Lone Star Representation, Texas Democrats Speak at Democratic National Convention

After criticisms were raised by Texas Democrats Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa about the lack of Texans in the 2020 Democratic National Convention lineup, state Rep. Victoria Neave (D-Dallas) and Congressman Colin Allred (D-TX-32) were added to the slate of speakers.

The two were included as Democratic “rising stars” from all across the country and, notably, endorsed Joe Biden during the presidential primary contest.

Last week, Hinojosa told John Engle of KXAN, “The national party needs to have Texans speaking in prominent positions at this convention. Somebody messed up, somebody dropped the ball and they need to fix it.”

Lawmakers Request Clarification of Religious Visitation Policies at Long-term Care Facilities

This week, the Texas House Freedom Caucus sent a letter to Cecile Young, executive director of the Texas Health and Human Services Commission, requesting more flexibility in “religious visitation policies” at long-term care facilities. 

“To deny religious services to the dying is such an egregious infringement on religious liberties that words cannot describe our anger and frustration, nor can they describe our concern about what these types of precedents portend for the future of our state,” the letter read.

“[W]e respectfully request that HHSC loosen these restrictions on clergy and members of the religious community to allow for simple religious visitations administered under the same guidelines HHSC expects family members to follow when visiting.”

The caucus includes state Reps. Mayes Middleton (R-Wallisville), Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler), Matt Krause (R-Fort Worth), Kyle Biedermann (R-Fredericksburg), Briscoe Cain (R-Deer Park), Mike Lang (R-Granbury), Matt Shaheen (R-Plano), Valoree Swanson (R-Spring), Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington), Steve Toth (R-The Woodlands), and Bill Zedler (R-Arlington). 

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McKenzie Taylor

McKenzie Taylor

McKenzie Taylor serves as Senior Editor 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.