Editorial: State should not rethink local leaders' discretion during emergencies

Source: Houston Chronicle - View Original Article
Published: May 04, 2020
Category:
Bias Rating:

66% Liberal


Bias Score Calculation:


Policies:

Travel Ban

Sentiments

94% "The fact that Abbott, a Republican, eventually issued similar orders closing schools, bars, restaurants and other non-essential businesses while mandating people stay at home ..."
92% "Instead, they should applaud the way leaders in Texas' larger urban areas used existing authority to help reduce the spread of the new coronavirus.""
89% "That mandate, similar to edicts issued in several other urban counties, was superseded by Abbott's order before it ever went into effect.""
87% "The irony is that most Republicans believe that government closest to the people serves the people best.""
85% "That's prudent, given the size of Texas and the way such communities as Houston often require different solutions than ones needed in, say, Marfa.""
80% "These were not easy calls for Abbott or for the local leaders.""
72% "But when the subject strays away from state-federal relations, and instead involves state-local power sharing, the same Republicans change their views quickly.""
69% "A 10 p.m. curfew for adults, a ban on cycling and an order to wear a mask in public.""

We have listed the top 10 sentiments. More sentiments do exist. Please review the full article for more information.



*Our bias meter rating uses data science including sentiment analysis, machine learning and our proprietary algorithm for determining biases in news articles. The rating is an independent analysis and is not affiliated nor sponsored by the news source or any other organization

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Contributing sentiments towards policy:

94% : The fact that Abbott, a Republican, eventually issued similar orders closing schools, bars, restaurants and other "non-essential businesses" while mandating people stay at home is somehow overlooked in this recounting.
92% : Lawmakers should keep that flexibility available to local leaders.
92% : Instead, they should applaud the way leaders in Texas' larger urban areas used existing authority to help reduce the spread of the new coronavirus.
89% : That mandate, similar to edicts issued in several other urban counties, was superseded by Abbott's order before it ever went into effect.
87% : The irony is that most Republicans believe that "government closest to the people serves the people best.
85% : That he waited a little longer to take action and sometimes used a lighter regulatory touch -- strongly urging the use of face masks and social distancing without issuing an order requiring them -- is only a difference in degree and timing.
85% : That's prudent, given the size of Texas and the way such communities as Houston often require different solutions than ones needed in, say, Marfa.
80% : These were not easy calls for Abbott or for the local leaders.
72% : But when the subject strays away from state-federal relations, and instead involves state-local power sharing, the same Republicans change their views quickly.
69% : A 10 p.m. curfew for adults, a ban on cycling and an order to wear a mask in public.
63% : It would be wrongheaded for lawmakers to lurch to more centralized government and one-size-fits-all changes just because some people disagree with the decisions made by locally elected officials.
50% : The law that gives Abbott his authority to issue emergency orders also extends the same authority, on a smaller scale, to county judges, so they can tailor emergency responses to local needs.
49% : After factoring in checks and balances already contained in Texas law, what's so different between what happened in Harris County and what happened across Texas as a result of Abbott's orders? Some local officials may have overstepped -- the city of Weslaco limiting car occupancy to no more than two people seems a bit much -- but the courts, the governor and the Legislature are empowered to step in if balance is required.
45% : The orders from mayors and county judges were decried as government overreach and a slippery slope to tyranny, sparking a small protest at the state Capitol with "Don't Tread on Me" flags and signs proclaiming "The Constitution is not toilet paper," "Freedom is essential" and "My body, my choice" with a canceled-out image of a surgical mask.
44% : The objects of this scorn were largely neutered nine days later when Gov. Greg Abbott allowed his statewide stay-at-home order to expire and announced a reopening process that "superseded" any local restrictions.
44% : Unsurprisingly, the complaining legislators are Republicans and the local officials happen to be Democrats.
42% : These are among the local coronavirus pandemic emergency measures that raised the hackles of some Texas residents and are now attracting a few state lawmakers' attention.
39% : Their tighter, and earlier, restrictions helped slow the spread by requiring more stringent social distancing and at the very least signaling the seriousness of the disease to others.
38% : Local leaders are the political first responders to natural and man-made disasters and know far better what is happening in their communities than a Legislature meeting every other year in Austin.
35% : Talk among Republican legislators of clamping down on the locals is nothing but partisan politics and yet another attempt in the Texas GOP's long crusade to preempt local governance and shift more power to the state.
34% : To hear some tell it, Abbott was liberating Texas from a six-week reign of oppression that some lawmakers blame on overzealous local officials.
34% : Republican Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick meanwhile accused Harris County Judge Lina Hidalgo of "abuse of the use of executive orders" and "the ultimate government overreach" for an order requiring that all county residents over age 10 wear masks while out in public or face a fine of up to $1,000.
28% : The hand-wringing over overreach, not to mention tyranny, is nonsense.
26% : Sen. Paul Bettencourt, a Houston Republican, told the Houston Chronicle that lawmakers "are going to have to look at all these emergency powers" being wielded locally "and see if they have to be scrubbed down."
12% : Diminishing their discretion during an emergency would be wrong.

*Our bias meter rating uses data science including sentiment analysis, machine learning and our proprietary algorithm for determining biases in news articles. The rating is an independent analysis and is not affiliated nor sponsored by the news source or any other organization

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