Texas governor says economy won’t reopen all at once

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expressed optimism during a coronavirus news conference, Friday, April 10, 2020, in Austin, Texas. Abbott also said the state's death toll was lower than many other states. (Ricardo B. Brazziell/Austin American-Statesman via AP)

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas businesses won’t all reopen at the same time, Gov. Greg Abbott said Monday, even as President Donald Trump itches to restore the nation’s economy battered by the coronavirus pandemic.

Abbott, a Republican, said he would provide more details this week of how he envisions Texas getting back to work, although he has set no timetable. He has issued what is effectively a stay-at-home order through the end of April, and officials in some of Texas’ biggest cities say they don’t expect the number of COVID-19 cases to peak until May.

“This isn’t going to be a rushing the gates, everyone is able to suddenly reopen all at once,” Abbott said from his office in the Texas Capitol.

Trump asserted Monday that it will be up to him to determine how and when to reopen the coronavirus-stricken country, though it is unclear what authority he has to overrule the states. Abbott said he spoke with Trump over the weekend and that the White House understands that “what may work for Nebraska may be different than what works for New York.”

Abbott also hinted at a decision coming later this week on whether Texas school will remain closed for the rest of the year. Classes statewide are currently suspended through May 4.

BAIL FOR TEXAS INMATES

The Texas Supreme Court awaited arguments Monday following a weekend decision that temporarily restored Abbott’s executive order restricting some inmates release on bail.

The state’s highest civil court Saturday stayed a lower court’s ruling temporarily blocking the order. It came a day after a Travis County district judge found Friday that Abbott likely overstepped his constitutional authority in prohibiting judges from releasing people accused or previously convicted of violent crimes on no-cost bonds.

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said Monday that the decision would help to protect state residents. The American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, which brought the suit, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Supreme Court has asked both parties to respond by the end of Monday.

BY THE NUMBERS

— 13,906: Number of Texas people infected with the coronavirus;
— 287 deaths;
— 1,176 hospitalized;
— 133,226 tests performed.
(Source: Texas Department of State Health Services)

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