A move to strip governor of some powers over COVID shutdowns

A showdown is brewing at the Texas Legislature where lawmakers are looking to rein in the governor's emergency powers.

Texas' response to COVID has been left entirely to Gov. Abbott, who resisted calls to convene the state legislature.

Rep. Steve Toth, R-Conroe, has introduced HJR 42, making it easier for the governor to do so if he chooses. It gives the governor 30 days, which is the standard length of an emergency order.

“It still gives him the ability to make a quick decision that he needs to make without taking weeks to call the legislature in session,” Toth told KPRC 950's Jimmy Barrett.

“When we're talking about the ability to close down the entire Texas economy for nearly a year and put millions of people out of work, it's imperative that this decision is born by the entire legislature, both the House and the Senate, and the executive branch.”

Toth also would like to see restrictions put in place against local officials.

“These people are all coming across the border and none of them are being tested (for COVID),” he says. “Yet, Mayor Sylvester Turner and Judge Lina Hidalgo want the ability to close businesses and force us to wear face diapers. It's ridiculous. It's stupid.”

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