NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – At Bison Coolers in North Richland Hills, Governor Greg Abbott announced his support for bills that would shield businesses from what he called frivolous Covid-19 related lawsuits.
He said it’s often hard to prove where and how someone contracted the virus.READ MORE: Troops From Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala Deployed To Guard Borders And Lower Migration
“Even though a small business would be successful in defending themselves against this legislation, they would still turn out to be a loser because of all the money they’d have to spend defending themselves.”
The Texas Trial Lawyers Association opposes the legislation saying lawyers and juries should consider the lawsuits, not politicians.
State Representative Jeff Leach, R-Plano, said the bill doesn’t protect businesses that act recklessly, “That would knowingly and intentionally put their employees, customers, clients or visitors to their establishment at harm, then there will be no protection and they will be and should be held responsible under this law.”
State Senator Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, agreed.
“What we’re wanting to do is make sure we don’t infringe on those who have a proper cause. But at the same time protect businesses.”
The state Senate will hold a hearing on this bill Tuesday, March 23.
The Governor also spoke out about the Biden administration’s response to the thousands of unaccompanied minors who’ve crossed into Texas.
Governor Abbott is having the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality investigate drinking water at two federal facilities housing the children and teenagers.READ MORE: Virtual Learning May Remain An Option At Some North Texas School Districts
Those include Midland and a fourth facility the federal government has opened in Pecos.
A TCEQ spokesman said the agency issued a do not use notice for the drinking water for the Midland facility because the well there hadn’t been used in awhile.
A spokesman said over the weekend, the TCEQ approved an emergency authorization for water hauling and revised the order to a Boil Water Notice.
The Governor said, “That’s exactly why the TCEQ is undertaking an investigation into that water source to make sure nobody will be exposed to arsenic or any other type of bacteria or anything that could come to harm anyone there.”
The Biden administration told CBS 11 Saturday all children and staff have bottled water to drink at the Midland facility.
The agency’s spokesman said TCEQ regional office staff conducted onsite investigations of the Midland and Pecos sites and that both investigations are ongoing.
The Governor also said 10% of the unaccompanied minors at two federal facilities in Texas have Covid-19.
Governor Abbott said, “This raises great concerns, concerns for those who have Covid in their facilities but concerns because of the Covid to be exported outside of those facilities.”MORE NEWS: Firefighters Battle Raging Fire At Addison Apartment Complex
The Biden administration hasn’t responded to our question about this yet.