Current disaster law does not provide for a robust legislative check against state and local overreach in times of crisis. Reforms are needed to enhance the Legislature’s role during prolonged disasters.

Key points:

  • Chapter 418 of the Texas Government Code does not provide meaningful checks and balances on state and local executive authority that is exercised in times of crisis.
  • In the absence of constitutional and statutory protections, there have been numerous instances of abuse and misgovernment, particularly at the local level.
  • In 2023, the Texas Legislature should make it a priority to enhance its role during periods of prolonged disaster and provide additional oversight of executive actions.