Texas Attorney General, Ken Paxton is the lawyer for the State of Texas and is charged by the Texas Constitution to:
- defend the laws and the Constitution of the State of Texas
- represent the State in litigation
- approve public bond issues
To fulfill these responsibilities, the Office of the Attorney General serves as legal counsel to all boards and agencies of state government, issues legal opinions when requested by the Governor, heads of state agencies and other officials and agencies as provided by Texas statutes.
The Texas AG sits as an ex-officio member of state committees and commissions and defends challenges to state laws and suits against both state agencies and individual employees of the State.
Many Texans look to the Office of the Attorney General for guidance with disputes and legal issues.
The agency receives hundreds of letters, phone calls and visits each week about crime victims’ compensation, child support, abuse in nursing homes, possible consumer fraud and other topics.
To find out more about the Texas Attorney General, visit the official website at https://texasattorneygeneral.gov/.
AG Paxton: Retail Supply Chains Will Be Held Liable For Price Gouging
AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a stern warning to retail suppliers, including those who supply grocery stores and pharmacies, that state law strictly prohibits price gouging in the wake of a declared disaster.
Price gouging laws apply to any person or entity selling necessities at an exorbitant or excessive price after a disaster has been declared by the Governor or President. This prohibition includes those who supply retailers.
Under the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act, any price-gougers may be required to reimburse consumers and may be held liable for civil penalties of up to $10,000 per violation with an additional penalty of up to $250,000 if the affected consumers are elderly.
“My office will work aggressively to investigate and prosecute any price-gouger who takes advantage of a disaster declaration by selling necessities at an excessive price, including retail suppliers in grocery and pharmacy chains,” said Attorney General Paxton. “No one is exempt from price gouging laws in Texas, and those who violate the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act will be met with the full force of the law.”
Texans who believe they have encountered price gouging or disaster scams should call the Office of the Attorney General’s toll-free complaint line at (800) 621-0508 or file a complaint online. For additional information on disaster scams, please visit disaster scams website.
For information on the spread or treatment of Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services.
AG Paxton: State Government Offices and Agencies Should Remain Fully Operational During COVID-19 Disaster Declaration
AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton issued a letter explaining that political subdivisions may not restrict the ability of State agencies, agents and contractors from providing governmental services, including travel to and from their places of employment. As declared in Executive Order GA-08, which holds the full force and effect of the law, “all critical infrastructure will remain operational, and government entities and businesses will continue providing essential services.”
“Our state government offices provide services that are essential to the public. Governor Abbott’s executive order makes the need for continued, unburdened operation of state offices clear,” said Attorney General Paxton. “It is our duty to protect and provide for Texans, and we are committed to serving our citizens during this health crisis.”
Local officers, like the Governor, may control the movement of people and occupancy of premises within a disaster area during a health event; however, quarantine orders cannot supersede the jurisdiction of the State. As a free and sovereign state, Texas is subject only to the United States and Texas Constitutions. Local government regulations must remain consistent with the State constitution and laws.
Read a copy of today’s letter here.
Health Care Professionals and Facilities, Including Abortion Providers, Must Immediately Stop All Medically Unnecessary Surgeries and Procedures to Preserve Resources to Fight COVID-19 Pandemic
AUSTIN – Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton warned all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities, including abortion providers, that, pursuant to Executive Order GA 09 issued by Gov. Greg Abbott, they must postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary.
On Saturday, Gov. Abbott issued an executive order that “all licensed health care professionals and all licensed health care facilities shall postpone all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary to correct a serious medical condition of, or to preserve the life of, a patient who without an immediate performance of the surgery or procedure would be at risk for serious adverse medical consequences or death, as determined by the patient’s physician.”
This prohibition applies throughout the State and to all surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary, including routine dermatological, ophthalmological, and dental procedures, as well as most scheduled healthcare procedures that are not immediately medically necessary such as orthopedic surgeries or any type of abortion that is not medically necessary to preserve the life or health of the mother.
The COVID-19 pandemic has increased demands for hospital beds and has created a shortage of personal protective equipment needed to protect health care professionals and stop transmission of the virus.
Postponing surgeries and procedures that are not immediately medically necessary will ensure that hospital beds are available for those suffering from COVID-19 and that PPEs are available for health care professionals.
Failure to comply with an executive order issued by the governor related to the COVID-19 disaster can result in penalties of up to $1,000 or 180 days of jail time.
“We must work together as Texans to stop the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that our health care professionals and facilities have all the resources they need to fight the virus at this time,” said Attorney General Paxton. “No one is exempt from the governor’s executive order on medically unnecessary surgeries and procedures, including abortion providers. Those who violate the governor’s order will be met with the full force of the law.”
For information on the spread or treatment of Coronavirus (COVID-19), please visit the Texas Department of State Health Services website.
NOTIFICATION OF OPINION
ORIGINAL REQUEST RQ-0309-KP
Whether revenue generated from inmates’ use of a PIN debit system to pay for phone time must be credited to the county jail commissary account or to the county general fund (RQ-0309-KP)
OFFICIAL OPINION KP-0295
Revenue generated from inmate use of a PIN debit system to pay for phone time must be credited to the county’s general fund.
REQUEST FOR OPINION
OFFICIAL REQUEST RQ-0340-KP
Whether section 229.001 of the Local Government Code prohibits municipal or county officials from restricting the sale of firearms through an emergency declaration
Tuesday, March 24, 2020
The Honorable Dustin Burrows
Chair, House Committee on Ways & Means
Texas House of Representatives
Post Office Box 2910
Austin, Texas 78768-2910