Today, the Austin City Council voted in favor of a new ordinance empowering its health authority to issue new rules and restrictions. The ordinance also authorizes officials to impose a fine of up to $2,000 for individuals not complying with the restrictions.

“The City of Austin has vested unelected bureaucrats with an inappropriate level of authority for a prolonged period of time; this is not how representative government is supposed to work,” said TPPF’s Shelby Sterling. “Furthermore, not following the Austin health authority’s rules could cost someone as much as $2,000 per instance. It’s unfathomable to threaten such an excessive fine at a time of enormous economic distress. This overreach should prompt significant reform from the next Texas Legislature.”