James Quintero is the policy director for the Government for the People campaign at the Texas Public Policy Foundation. Quintero focuses extensively on state and local government spending, taxes, debt, public pension reform, annexation, and local regulations.

First, allow me to provide some background. The Texas Disaster Act of 1975, codified as Texas Government Code Chapter 418, grants special authority to the governor and certain local officials in times of disaster. These extraordinary powers enabled officials to impose a wide variety of rules and restrictions in response to COVID-19. As documented in the Foundation’s research, some jurisdictions exercised that authority in ways that were troubling.*

Testimony to the Texas Senate Committee on State Affairs