Yesterday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced plans to create legislative proposals which will protect businesses from coronavirus-related lawsuits, promote a strong workforce and permanently relax regulation.
The plans come in response to conversations with construction workers and small business leaders during a ‘listening session.’ The Texas governor advocated for legislation providing civil liability protections to people operating businesses during the ongoing pandemic. He stated that business owners who “operated in good faith during the pandemic…shouldn’t have their livelihoods destroyed by frivolous lawsuits.” Also in support of small businesses, Abbott promised to maintain the Texas Enterprise Fund (TEF) which serves as a financial incentive for companies whose projects would contribute significant capital investment and new employment opportunities to the state’s economy.
Abbott emphasized his focus on building a strong workforce to meet the needs of the evolving job market. “We need to continue to do more to make sure that we provide the skilled training that’s needed in the multitude of jobs that either are or will be becoming available,” he said.
Additionally, the governor discussed the potential for a long-term relaxation of regulations to “cut unnecessary red tape and unleash the full might” of the state’s economy. He specifically mentioned alcohol-to-go sales in Texas.
On Monday, Abbott is set to announce his legislative priorities at his State of the State address. Recent roundtable discussions have focused on healthcare and public safety. The Texas governor is expected to address vaccine distribution, small businesses recovery, and increased aid for public schools.
“We are at a pivotal moment in our state’s history, and this televised address is an occasion for every Texan to celebrate our state’s exceptionalism and recognize our shared goal for an even better Texas,” said Governor Abbott. “Despite the challenges that America has endured over the past year, Texas remains a leader for the rest of the nation, and we have a duty to keep it that way. The 87th Legislative Session is an opportunity for the Legislature and statewide leaders to solve the challenges facing our state on behalf of every Texan. Working together to serve the people of Texas, we will put the Lone Star State on a path towards a healthier, safer, freer, and more prosperous future for all.”