As our nation continues the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, our first responders and the work they’re doing to keep our communities safe has never been more apparent. And while stories of lifesaving treatments and prevention make most of the headlines, it’s important to remember that these brave men and women risk their lives everyday performing regular acts of service that are completely unrelated to COVID-19. With that in mind, Governor Abbott recently announced that nominations for the 2020 Star of Texas Awards, which honor peace officers, firefighters, and emergency medical first responders who were seriously injured or killed in the line of duty, are now open. If you know a hero in your community who has lost their life or been seriously injured keeping our communities safe, I want to encourage you to fill out a nomination form so that they can be honored for their bravery and sacrifice. Nomination forms can be accessed through the Governor’s Office website: https://gov.texas.gov/organization/cjd/star-of-texas
With that, here’s the latest information on our state’s fight against the coronavirus. . .
Governor Abbott recently announced the second phase of our state’s plan to safely and strategically open Texas while minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Under Phase II, restaurants may increase their occupancy to 50% and additional services and activities that remained closed under Phase I — child care centers, summer camps, Little League Baseball, rodeo and equestrian arenas, and others — may reopen with restricted occupancy levels and minimum standard health protocols established by the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS). I’m encouraged by this progress, as it shows that we, as Texans, are responsibly practicing social distancing and other best practices that will ultimately allow more of Texas to reopen. For more information about Phase II to Open Texas, please visit: https://gov.texas.gov/organization/opentexas
As part of a broader effort to reopen Texas, Texas Parks and Wildlife recently announced that it resumed limited overnight camping on May 18. This gradual reopening of overnight reservations will be limited to all Texas State Parks to varying degrees depending on individual park occupancy in order to align with safe business practices currently followed in Texas. For more information, please visit: www.texasstateparks.org
Our state leadership recently directed state agencies and institutions of higher education to each submit a plan identifying savings that will reduce their budgets by five percent for Fiscal Year 2020-2021. I applaud this prudent decision, as fiscally responsible action must be taken to maintain our balanced budget while ensuring the continuation of government services.
As always, please do not hesitate to contact our office if we can help you in any way. Our District office may be reached at (936) 634-2762, or you can call my Capitol office at (512) 463-0508.