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The Height of Hypocrisy: Cities vs States

April 30, 2015

By STACEY CAMERON

News 4 San Antonio

Republican State Senator Don Huffines is pushing a law to curb the power of city halls all over Texas. “We created the municipalities,” said Huffines, referring to the Texas Legislature. “So we’re responsible to make sure they don’t trample the freedom and liberties of their citizens and the business community.” In Texas if a city’s population tops 5,000, its citizens can pass a home rule charter, giving City Council the power to regulate just about anything. Huffines says most city’s don’t overstep that authority, but a handful of city councils are out of control, passing regulations he says violate state law and threaten the economy.

“That super preemption idea would be terrible,” says Bret Sandlin, Executive Director of the Texas Municipal League. “It’s like a feeding frenzy of special interests that have come to Austin trying to say local voters don’t have the power to dictate what happens in their town,” Sandlin said.  If special interests win, Sandlin says city councils all over Texas will basically need to get state approval before passing any kind of ordinance.

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