If three bills making their way through the legislative process in Austin become law, home rule in Texas would effectively be gutted.
Identical House and Senate bills that would exempt the gas and oil industry from home rule ordinances are passing easily through their respective legislative branches. A third bill, one that would allow the state to create rules and regulations that could retroactively gut all city and municipality ordinances, is also in legislative play. Critics, who believe home rule is important because it allows local governments to craft laws specifically designed by and for the cities’ residents, have called the bills the biggest power grab in the state’s recent history and claim the wording of the bills came straight from the gas and oil industries.
“This is a fascist takeover of public interest by corporate interests,” said Lon Burnam, former long-time Fort Worth state house representative. “This has never been attempted in Texas prior to this.”