One group of bar owners says that all Gov. Abbott did was “pass the buck” when it comes to reopening bars in Texas

Not everybody is happy with Governor Abbott’s plan to reopen bars in some locations across the state. The Texas Bar & Nightclub Alliance said in a statement that Gov. Greg Abbott has “passed the buck” on reopening bars.

Gov. Abbott announced his plan on Wednesday that allows bars in some locations to reopen starting Oct. 14 at the discretion of county judges.

Counties in Texas can choose to allow bars or similar establishments to operate with in-person service. Bars that open will be allowed to operate at up to 50% capacity, according to new checklists that were added to the governor’s website.

Michael Klein, President of the Texas Bar & Nightclub Alliance released a statement on behalf of the group saying: 

“TBNA is under no delusions: many of our members will eventually be allowed to operate under this new order because their county judge will lead and ‘opt in’. However, this is a death sentence for so many of our members under the jurisdiction of county judges who still believe that we should be locked down like we were in March and April, despite all the progress we’ve made coexisting with this virus.”

Klein says that Gov. Abbott’s decision is not data-driven and that members will “remain closed until someone else makes the decision to open us up based on whatever parameters they deem appropriate–data, politics, personal animus, you name it.”

Klein says that Abbott has forced the 254 elected county judges in Texas to decide to open bars for him “with no guideposts as to how to make that decision.”

“No other sector of the Texas economy is being handled this way, even similar businesses such as restaurants or bingo halls. Bars are being singled out,” Klein said.

Klein also raised questions about the order, such as is this opt in permanent, can it be rescinded and if so why and for how long. “We have absolutely no business certainty with this plan,” he said. “Our members buy fresh food, beer, and other perishable items. What happens if a county judge wakes up and changes their mind? More sunk costs, more lost revenue, more dreams destroyed.”

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