With a wingman like Dan Patrick, who needs critics?
When Texas stores closed and social distancing began at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, sales naturally dropped. So did sales taxes, and local and state government revenues. But not everywhere, it turns out.
The protests of the last week are about an affliction that's bigger than the pandemic — and important enough for people to forget about social distancing.
Gov. Greg Abbott has avoided the president's militaristic tenor and has expressed empathy with nonviolent demonstrators protesting George Floyd's death. But the conversations about what's next haven't started.
If you were looking for voting-by-mail advice from the Texas Supreme Court, you're out of luck. The court ruled that the pandemic is no reason to expand voting by mail, but also that election officials don't have to check voter claims of disability.
The partisan differences about voting by mail in Texas — Democrats want to expand it, Republicans believe it’s insecure — were in place long before COVID-19 came along. But the pandemic has escalated the debate.
State and local governments are at odds over what should and should not be allowed during a pandemic — a debate over health, economics and civil liberties. The old sparring partners have increasingly appealed to a referee: the courts.
The pandemic has devastated the Texas economy. The state comptroller says that will mean billions of dollars less than expected for the current budget. But state agencies haven't received any orders to cut their spending.
Health experts and local leaders want stricter state orders to keep Texans at home, but for now, Gov. Greg Abbott is leaving the decisions on “shelter-in-place” to local officials.