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Limiting the Role of Government

From eliminating burdensome vehicle inspections to preventing federal overreach within political subdivisions across Texas, the 88th Legislature passed many bills to prevent government overreach. 

House Bill 14 (Harris, Cody, et al. | SP: Bettencourt) streamlines the process by which property development documents are reviewed by political subdivisions. HB 14 requires a political subdivision to accept a third-party review if it does not issue a decision on a property development application within 15 days.

House Bill 33 (Landgraf, et al. | SP: Springer, et al.) prevents state agencies and employees, from assisting federal agencies or officials in the enforcement of a federal regulation, statute, order, or rule, intended to regulate oil and gas operations in the state if the statute, order, etc., does not exist under current state law. HB 33 also allows Texans to file complaints with the Texas Attorney General if there is evidence that their political subdivision adopted a policy requiring enforcement of a federal statute strictly prohibited by this bill. 

House Bill 2127 (Burrows, et al.| SP: Creighton) creates a preemption that precludes cities and counties from regulating anything not expressly authorized for them to regulate in statute. The bill also authorizes individuals to take legal action against a political subdivision which enforces conflicting regulations, waives sovereign immunity for such suits, and provides a means for individuals to receive remedies from violating local law or regulation.

 

House Bill 3297 (Harris, Cody, et al. | SP: Middleton) eliminates the annual safety inspection requirement for non-commercial passenger vehicles in Texas.

 

House Bill 1750 (Burns, et al. | SP: Perry, et al.) protects agricultural operations from overburdensome regulation by local governments and requires cities to prove the operation poses a threat to public health before restricting their activity. 

 

House Bill 1922 (Dutton, et al. | SP: Bettencourt) institutes a 10 year expiration date on building permit fees and requires a municipality to hold a public hearing and vote if they wish to reauthorize the fee.  

 

Senate Bill 784 (Birdwell | SP: Landgraf) stipulates that, when not preempted by federal law, the State of Texas has the sole right to regulate all greenhouse gas emissions within the state. The bill also prohibits municipalities from enacting measures that regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

 

Senate Bill 929 (Parker, et al. | SP: Rogers, et al.) requires municipalities to notify landowners no fewer than 10 days prior to a public hearing where their property might be affected by rezoning. If their land is re-zoned, the landowner is entitled to payment for the loss in accordance with market value, or extended time to operate on the re-zoned land until a pre-determined amount can be recovered. In addition, SB 929 allows affected landowners to appeal a rezoning decision to a municipalities’ board of adjustment, failing that, landowners may then seek judicial review. 

 

Senate Bill 1017 (Birdwell | SP: Landgraf, et al.) prevents any political subdivisions from adopting or enforcing restrictions on engines based on their fuel source. SB 1017 ensures that Texans have the right to choose gas powered lawn equipment, which cities like Dallas are have considered banning entirely. 

 

House Bill 3014 (Harris, Caroline | SP: Zaffirini) exempts motor vehicles that use electricity as their only source of motor power and that are not equipped with an internal combustion engine from certain emissions and exhaust systems inspection requirements.

 

House Bill 1526 (Harris, Cody, et al. | SP: Hughes) prevents cities such as Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, and Fort-Worth from enacting overly burdensome and costly parkland dedication ordinances. These ordinances discourage builders and developers which artificially drive up the cost of housing across the state.

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