In a speech given earlier this year to the Texas Public Policy Foundation, Governor Greg Abbott warned that: “Texas is being California-ized and you may not even be noticing it.”
Adding further, the Governor explained:
“This is being done at the city level with bag bans, fracking bans, tree-cutting bans. We’re forming a patchwork quilt of bans and rules and regulations that is eroding the Texas Model.” (More on the Texas Model here.)
“Unchecked over-regulation by cities will turn the Texas miracle into the California nightmare faster than you can spell TPPF.” [emphasis mine]
Seizing on the Governor’s comments, conservative organizations, including the Foundation, approached this legislative session with an eye toward reining in local government excess and municipal micromanagement, problem areas that have been building to a head for quite some time. And this session’s efforts have not been without success.
A big victory came yesterday when Governor Abbott signed into law House Bill 40 that, among other things, prevents local governments from enacting fracking bans. These types of prohibitions, of course, have major fiscal and economic implications, both locally and for the State, as well as pose a threat to private property rights, all of which helps make the case that the legislature, not the locality, is best positioned to be the ultimate decision-maker.
With conservatives now having secured a high-profile win in the battle against local government overreach, it should be clear that “unchecked local regulation will not be ignored, particularly on matters of statewide economic importance.”