Texas Gov. Greg Abbott

Gov. Abbott Says Texas Will Lead With Criminal Justice Reforms

Governor Abbott spoke to NBC 5 in a one on one interview

NBCUniversal, Inc.

Texas Governor Greg Abbott, said state lawmakers are already talking about legislation, after the killing of George Floyd in Minnesota. 

“The process begins right now to start hammering out ideas and suggestions for legislation, and what that requires is conversations between republicans and democrats in both the House and the Senate, and just like we have in so many sessions in the past, Texas will lead here with regard to criminal justice reforms.   We have a goal, and that is the goal is to make sure we never have in Texas what happened to George Floyd up in Minnesota,” said Abbott.

NBC 5 spoke with the Governor Thursday, who is dealing with two very different situations. Unrest, and the COVID-19 pandemic. The Governor announced more openings later this month, gyms, restaurants, bars and outdoor stadiums will be able to have higher capacities.  

“This decision was run by and approved by all four doctors on the strike force that is being used to make sure that we open up Texas,” said Abbott.

But in Dallas County, the cases have been going up this week. 

“We would not have opened it up if it was not viewed as being safe. We would not have opened up if we didn’t believe that we had the strategies to be able to identify the reasons why more people may be testing positive and the ability to contain that. And so Dallas County, as well as the state of Texas, are safe to open up to this extent,” said Abbott.

Abbott says 45% of new cases are coming from meatpacking plants, jails and prisons, and nursing homes. But Abbott said as Texas opens up, COVID-19 is still here, and people need to continue distancing, wearing masks and sanitizing.

With people protesting shoulder to shoulder, we asked the Governor if he expects a spike in positive cases. He said they will evaluate that in the next few days.

“As a result, our plan right now is to move additional sources into places where protests are taking place. On Monday, begin increasing testing in those areas to identify whether or not there has been an increase in COVID- 19 and provide the treatment and care that is needed,” Added Abbott.


*Map locations are approximate, central locations for the city and are not meant to indicate where actual infected people live.

**County totals below include all 32 North Texas counties, not just Collin, Dallas, Denton and Tarrant.


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