AUSTIN, Texas -- Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton, is warning major retail stores that not following guidelines to prevent the spread of the coronavirus could hinder the ability of smaller businesses to reopen.
Rep. Bonnen ticked off a series of tweets Monday citing “some of our largest home improvement superstores” and saying that workers are not wearing masks or keeping six feet of distance.
“What we were seeing in Lowes, Home Depot, Wal-Mart, what have you, is they were not doing social distancing among their employees. They were not wearing masks. That’s all White House guidelines,” he told Capital Tonight anchor Karina Kling. “Most importantly, our small businesses – I want hair salons and barbershops open. I want restaurants at 50 percent and 100 percent in-store dining, and those things aren’t going to happen until the big box retailer, who’s never had to shut down, has their employees follow these guidelines and it’s not a big ask.”
Abbott has held off on reopening hair salons and gyms, suggesting he could do so in a May 18 announcement or sooner. He also suggested, but did not require employees to wear face coverings.
“We don’t want to have to mandate it. We want people to care about their fellow Texan and fellow businesses,” Rep. Bonnen said. “That they get the privilege right now, and I hate to say that it’s a privilege to be open, but it is.”
Speaker Bonnen also discussed his push for state agencies to identify five percent savings in their budgets amid dropping sales tax revenue and economic concerns.
“We believe if we do a cut now, we don’t have to go to affecting jobs,” he said.
Click the video link above to watch our full interview with Speaker Bonnen.