The Back MicThe Back Mic: Lawmakers Introduce the George Floyd Act, State Senator Contracts COVID-19, Texas Democrats Criticize Convention Lineup

This week — the George Floyd Act is introduced, a senator tests positive for COVID-19, and Texas Democrats opine a lack of representation at their national convention.
August 14, 2020
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Texas Lawmakers Introduce George Floyd Act

In a press conference on Thursday, the Texas Legislative Black Caucus introduced a proposal offering substantial police reform measures in light of the death of George Floyd by a Minneapolis officer in May. 

Chairman Harold Dutton (D-Houston) opened the virtual event. “Today we are here to open up that road to equal justice for all Texans, including black Texans and brown Texans.”

Notably, the proposal, entitled the “George Floyd Act,” included a “strict prohibition on chokeholds,” as well as other crackdowns on force and stringent accountability measures for officers. 

The Texan Mug

Summary of the George Floyd Act

Aside from Dutton, lawmakers present on the call were Sen. Royce West (D-Dallas), Reps. Shawn Thierry (D-Houston), Carl Sherman (D-DeSoto), Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston), Alma Allen (D-Houston), Barbara Gervin-Hawkins (D-San Antonio), Lorraine Birabil (D-Dallas), Ron Reynolds (D-Missouri City), Nicole Collier (D-Fort Worth), Rhetta Bowers (D-Garland), Jarvis Johnson (D-Houston), Toni Rose (D-Dallas), Garnet Coleman (D-Houston), and Sheryl Cole (D-Austin).

State Senator Contracts COVID-19

On Wednesday, Texas state Senator Kel Seliger (R-Amarillo) took to social media to announce that he had contracted COVID-19.

“I have tested positive for COVID-19,” tweeted Seliger. “I began to exhibit symptoms last night. I appreciate the well wishes while I diligently comply with isolation and contact tracing guidelines as put out by the Governor and CDC.”

A myriad of elected officials offered their prayers and sympathies, including Reps. Terry Canales (D-Edinburg), Michelle Beckley (D-Carrollton), and Brooks Landgraf (R-Odessa). 

Rep. Tony Tinderholt (R-Arlington) is the only other known state legislator to have contracted COVID-19, and has recovered.

Texas Democrats Discontented Over Lack of Texans Speaking at National Convention

With the 2020 Democratic National Convention just days away, Texas Democrats’ Chairman Gilberto Hinojosa voiced concerns in an interview about the lack of Texas representation in the speaking lineup. 

“I don’t understand that and that needs to be fixed,” 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.”

No Texas figures, including former presidential candidates Beto O’Rourke and Julian Castro, were included in the featured lineup.

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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.