COVID-19 Texas

COVID-19 Texas

Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

TEXAS SALES TAX REVENUE --The Texas Comptroller’s office reports that sales tax revenues for May fell more than 13 percent compared to the same time last year.   That's on top of April's 9.2 percent drop and is the steepest decline since 2010.   Glen Hegar who serves as Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts   says shuttered businesses and stay-at-home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic increased losses in every sector except for telecommunications services. 

HEALTH COVERAGE GAP - A new report from the Episcopal Health Foundation in Houston  predicts the number of uninsured people in Texas could skyrocket next year following the COVID-19 outbreak.  An estimated 1.2 million Texans who have lost their jobs and their employer-sponsored insurance, are   currently eligible for either Medicaid or subsidized plans through the Affordable Care Act marketplace.


BANKRUPTCY PROTECTION - Experts say to expect more bankruptcies in the oil and gas industry over the coming months. The coronavirus pandemic and a global oversupply of oil continues to keep prices low.  So low that companies are reporting billions in losses, slashing budgets, and laying off workers.   Charlie Beckham specializes in oil and gas bankruptcies at the Texas law firm Haynes and Boone located in Houston.  He says companies may not be making enough money to pay off their debt.

Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

BEEF PRICE FIXING? - Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller is joining other public officials to call for a federal investigation into suspected beef industry price fixing involving meat packers in the U-S during the pandemic.   Speaking during a Republican Party of Texas Town Hall Friday, he said it was important to protect consumers as well as Texas farmers and ranchers, the nation’s largest beef producers.

Courtesy: White House Press Pool Video

GOV ABBOTT VISITS TRUMP — President Donald Trump praised another Republican governor for rolling back state coronavirus restrictions despite failing to meet the administration's recommended benchmarks as he welcomed Texas Gov. Greg Abbott to the White House on Thursday. 

“Texas is opening up and a lot of places are opening up. And we want to do it, and I'm not sure that we even have a choice. I think we have to do it. You know, this country can't stay closed and locked down for years.”                                         

Courtesy: Texas Dept. of Health

TEXAS RURAL HEALTH CONCERNS - Texans living in rural communities are more likely to see COVID-19 as threatening to their personal health than those living in urban and suburban areas.   That's according to a new statewide survey from the University of Texas at Tyler. Professor Mark Owens conducted the survey.  He says 57 percent of people  living in smaller  rural communities identify the virus as a major threat compared with 41 percent of those in cities with more than one-million residents.

"This is one of the widest ranges that we saw and there 

Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

LIMITED REOPENING - In Texas,  Gov. Greg Abbott outlined a slow reopening of the state economy that will allow retailers, restaurants, movie theaters and malls to start letting a few customers into their establishments starting May 1.    The plan allows those places to operate at 25% capacity.

"My executive order to stay at home that was issued last month is set to expire on April the 30th," Abbott said. "That executive order has done its job to slow the growth of Covid-19 and I will let it expire as scheduled."

Courtesy: Chuck Smith / Red River Radio News

TEXAS COVID19 - RECOVERY -  Governors in every state are eager to reopen their economies.  And Texas is no exception---The key to the Texas economy recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic is avoiding a second wave of cases.   That's according to Ray Perryman, president and CEO of The Perryman Group, an economic analysis firm. He spoke  yesterday  at an online event organized by the Dallas Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Courtesy: Halliburton Oil Services

TEXAS OIL LAYOFFS - Plummeting oil prices amid the coronavirus pandemic are taking their toll on Texas energy companies.   Houston-based Halliburton has been hit especially hard. The nation's largest oil field service company this morning posted a billion-dollar net loss in the first quarter.  On a conference call, President Jeff Millers said they're cutting a billion dollars in overhead and other costs. 

Courtesy: Gov. Greg Abbott Video Conference

DEMOCRATS CRITICIZE ABBOTT-  Democratic  lawmakers from Texas are criticizing Governor Greg Abbott's plan to reopen the state's economy in the midst  of  the coronavirus pandemic.   They argue the move is premature and the scope of the outbreak in Texas remains unknown as the rate of testing lags behind other states.  State Representative Celia Israel , an Austin Democrat, said Abbott's new Strike Force to Open Texas is missing  leaders who have been spearheading  the  response to COVID-19 at the city and county level.