Texas Lt. Gov. Announces Task Force to Work on 'Restarting the Economy'

Texas Lt. Gov. Announces Task Force to Work on 'Restarting the Economy'
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick speaks in Houston, Texas on March 15, 2016. (Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Mimi Nguyen Ly

Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick on Tuesday announced a task force that will work on a set of recommendations for "restarting the economy" in anticipation of the time when businesses can start to reopen in the state.

“We know it will take us much longer to start the economy back up than it did to shut it down for the coronavirus pandemic emergency," Patrick said in a statement.
Texas has more than 8,200 confirmed cases of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus, commonly known as novel coronavirus, and has reported over 150 deaths.

The task force will be established from the Business Advisory Council in Texas that Patrick started when he was elected in 2014. Patrick's office said the council is comprised of "business leaders from a broad range of businesses around the state."

"I have spoken to hundreds of business leaders across the state since the pandemic began, and I know they are already thinking about steps that will need to be taken to put the economy back together when the time comes," he said. "I am confident Texas can lead a strong economic recovery both in our state and nationwide and I want to make sure we are ready to go as soon as possible.”

The lieutenant governor appointed Dallas businessman Brint Ryan, who currently chairs Lt. Gov. Patrick’s Advisory Board on Tax Policy, to chair the task force.

Patrick also announced Tuesday that members of the Texas Senate are volunteering staffers to help the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to answer calls from people seeking unemployment help in the state.

“Senators that I spoke with this past weekend wanted to make sure the Texas Workforce Commission responds to as many calls as possible from Texans regarding unemployment benefits ... Senators agreed to allow their staff members to volunteer at the TWC," he said in a statement.

He said at almost 200 senate staffers as well as staffers in his office had been volunteering as of noon on Tuesday, and that the staff members will start training on Thursday.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott on March 31 issued an executive order implementing an end to “non-essential” businesses and activities to help to slow the spread of CCP virus.

The order extends social distancing measures to April 30. Schools will not have in-person classroom attendance until at least May 4.

For information about the Texas Workforce Commission and unemployment benefits available to Texans through the federal Cares Act, click here.
For updates on the CCP virus situation in Texas, click here.