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With Senate Vote, Wide-Ranging Power Grab Bill Appears Headed to Gov. Abbott

HB 2127 is the most significant shift in power from communities to the Capitol in recent memory, Public Citizen says

AUSTIN, Texas – The Texas Legislature today gave tentative approval to House Bill 2127, an egregious power grab that Gov. Greg Abbott has promised to sign into law.

The legislation will head to Gov. Abbott’s desk if the Senate approves the bill with a final procedural vote expected Tuesday and the House agrees with amendments made by the Senate when it gave its initial approval today.

The bill nullifies most, but not all, existing city and county ordinances – and blocks future ones – in nine areas of law where the state has authority. The bill represents the most significant recent erosion of local governance and ignores more than a century of home-rule precedent. Adrian Shelley, Texas director of Public Citizen, issued the following statement:

“When this bill goes into effect, cities and counties across Texas will have to rely on the state’s part-time Legislature, which meets for only 140 days every two years, to address various issues and problems of local concern. Texans elect local leaders to address local matters. Lawmakers who voted for this must explain to their constituents why they gave away local authority to lawmakers hundreds of miles away in Austin who may have never even set foot in their community.”

HB 2127 will block ordinances requiring water breaks for construction workers, future controls on predatory payday lenders, regulations of some sexually-oriented businesses, regulations of puppy mills, and much more.