Texas Governor Greg Abbott has ruled out arresting business owners who violate orders to shut down.

According to KSAT, the Governor said that:

“...throwing Texans in jail who have had their businesses shut down through no fault of their own is nonsensical, and I will not allow it to happen.” “That is why I am modifying my executive orders to ensure confinement is not a punishment for violating an order.

The order can be applied retroactively to April 2nd and, it appears, would free anyone who has been jailed for stay at home order violations. This was sparked by the arrest of  Shelley Luther, a Dallas hair salon owner who refused to close her business.  Luther, at the time, said:

If you think the law is more important than kids getting fed, then please go ahead with your decision, but I am not going to shut the salon.” KSAT

The Texas Supreme Court ordered that Luther be released and then Governor Abbott modified the order to prevent further incarcerations. This new order supersedes local orders. It is unfortunate that some businesses have been shut down because of the current restrictions and even more troubling that some may never reopen after suffering huge monetary losses. While this law may make some people a little more likely to either remain open or to go ahead and reopen, it doesn't change the fact that things are not fully back to normal yet and the economy will continue to suffer for a while yet.

The future is still uncertain but, those that are desperate to provide for their families at least now don't have to worry about jail time.

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