AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation’s Center for Local Governance will host the policy panel “A Rising Tide: Local Government Debt” at the 12th Annual Policy Orientation for the Texas Legislature on Thursday, January 9, at 2:00 p.m. at the Sheraton Austin Hotel at the Capitol. 

“Cities, counties, school districts, and special districts are amassing local government debt at alarming rate,” said James Quintero, Director of TPPF’s Center for Local Governance. “If we do not begin to take steps to address Texas’ soaring local debt, then we risk losing many of the economic gains made thanks to the Texas Model.”

Panelists include:

  • James Quintero (moderator) is the Director of the Center for Local Governance at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.
  • Ben Wilterdink is a research analyst for the Center for State Fiscal Reform at the American Legislative Exchange Council and specializes in tax and fiscal policy matters.
  • Peggy Venable is the Texas Director of Americans for Prosperity, the nation’s premier grassroots organization in the country. Peggy has worked in public policy and grassroots campaigns—in government, the political arena, and the private sector—for over 30 years.
  • Keith Self was elected to Collin County Judge in November 2006, taking his oath of office as presiding officer of the Commissioner’s Court on January 1, 2007. He is a 5th-generation Texan who brings 25 years of experience as a U.S. Army officer to his current position.
  • Beth Hallmark is the Creative Director and Manager of the Data Services Division at the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts.

For twelve years, the Foundation’s Policy Orientation has been one of the nation’s top policy conferences, selling out each year while bringing together lawmakers, policy experts, and engaged citizens from across the political spectrum to discuss critical issues facing the Lone Star State and America. Last year’s Policy Orientation attracted approximately 1,100 attendees including 100 state legislators and hundreds of legislative staff from both sides of the aisle.

This year’s program includes more than 25 panel discussions and debates on the major issues affecting Texas’ future.  The program will be updated with additional events and speakers in the coming weeks. Members of the public and media who wish to attend may register and view the agenda here:

James Quintero is Director of the Center for Local Governance at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. As a Senior Policy Analyst with the Center for Fiscal Policy, Quintero concentrated on restricting the growth of taxation, appropriations reform, increasing governmental transparency, and instituting expenditure limits. Quintero holds an MPA with an emphasis on Public Finance from Texas State University.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.

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