State Senator Kelly Hancock participated in a Facebook Live with the Greater Arlington Chamber this past Wednesday. He spoke about the ten pages of regulations on Texas businesses that have been modified or suspended by the Governor or the agency responsible for enforcement to make it a little easier to operate during the novel coronavirus pandemic. You can watch the full webinar at the bottom of this post.
His hope is that many of the modifications or suspensions may be able to stay in place after we get reopened. He cited telemedicine as an example. It is being much more widely used today and it may be possible to keep it as an important medical service tool. It is not necessary to physically touch every patient in every circumstance. This could be especially important for rural counties that have trouble attracting and retaining qualified medical professionals. It is also difficult for hospitals in rural areas to stay solvent.
Every regulation was put in place for a reason. When you start talking about relaxing a regulation, some folks will immediately say the world will come to an end if we do that. Obviously now we have some experience with these regulations relaxed and the world is still here.
Many of the modifications or suspensions resulted from constituents calling the Governor’s office or other elected officials and suggesting that current regulation is exceedingly difficult to comply with considering the restrictions on travel and activity. Others were the result of seeing if technology could replace in-person office visits. He used as an example a license renewal one of the drivers in his chemical distribution company had to get. There was a pen and paper test that had to be taken in the examiner’s office. It was something that could easily be done online.
Asked about the budget issues for the upcoming session, Senator Hancock said there was a commitment to the continued funding of HB3 for the next biennium. He talked about the amount of money the federal government is sending to the cities, counties and school districts. Depending on how our economy comes back in Texas, the real issue for HB3 may not be this session, but the next.
Just like any business facing these hard-financial times, the state will need to prioritize the spending needs and focus on what is vitally important. There is no former government official we can call who has lived through a situation like this and ask, “How did you all get through this?” We have to use judgment, common sense and trust in our faith.
Click Here to see the list of regulations eliminated or relaxed temporarily.