Texas Republicans are attacking liberal cities and trying to preempt their laws in a special session called by Gov. Greg Abbott to make state supremacy more concrete.
Texas is starting to seem more like Venezuela than one of the United States. Conservative and Christian Right legislators think they need to set the “moral standard” for residents of the Longhorn State. First, they attacked women’s health care, and now they are going to try and control the legislation of the more liberal Texas communities. Austin is always in the cross hairs of the legislature, for its liberal bent.
The Texas Republicans are looking for laws passed by cities and counties in so-called preemption measures, bills that would restrict a local government’s power to pass laws regulating certain industries or setting policy. These politicians are looking to usurp local governments on measures such as immigration enforcement. Abbott said the legislation is his way of ensuring local governments do not step on the rights of Texans.
The Hill reports that this week in Texas, Governor Greg Abbott in a special session is ready to take away power from the county and municipal governments in regards to 8 new measures. Two proposals would govern permitting and construction projects, two would set caps on taxes and spending, one would prevent homeowners from having to ask permission to cut down historic trees on their property, another would govern texting while driving, and the last, and perhaps most controversial, would limit a local government’s ability to dictate whether transgender students have the right to use bathroom and locker room facilities of their choice.
Texas is not the only state on a roll to curb liberal cities in red states. Arizona passed a law to withhold state funding for counties and municipalities if the law is found unacceptable. Texas tried to do the same thing, but it didn’t pass.
According to Grassroots Change, a California group that tracks and opposes preemption of laws, there are 140 measures nationally, 19 passed and became laws, 3 of the laws were in Texas.