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The Post: The Empire Strikes Back

The Post


My vote for legislation that could have the greatest impact outside of school choice and property tax reform is HB 2127, the “Texas Regulatory Consistency Act,” from Rep. Dustin Burrows and Sen. Brandon Creighton. It promises to completely change how and what local governments do on a day-to-day basis. I’ll explain.

Frustrated by the inability to get many big government proposals through a legislature long dominated by conservatives, the left shifted strategy to push its progressive, virtue signaling agenda in Texas’ cities and towns. San Antonio wanted to ban your F-150. Austin thought it was a good idea to let mentally ill, drug-addicted homeless people “camp” wherever they wanted. Houston, well, where do you start?

Part of the progressive push has been a regulatory assault on businesses that has imposed, inconsistent, contradictory, and sometimes unconstitutional labyrinth of rules and regulations that make running your business more like working for the IRS. In past sessions, the legislature has taken a rifle-shot approach to stop the nonsense by passing ‘preemption’ legislation that puts some guiderails on how far the cities can go to make your life difficult.

But the progressive assault has been so fierce that a new approach became necessary. Cue the Death Star.

The “Death Star bill,” as HB 2127 is lovingly known in the Capitol, employs field preemption to say that city regulations can’t exceed state law regarding agriculture, business and commerce, finance, insurance, labor, local government, natural resources, occupations, and property. It reins in what local governments can and cannot do, and forces them to get back to the basics. Even still, local governments have a lot of autonomy despite the primal screams heard from big city mayors and city councilmembers after the bill passed the Senate this week. (Just one more procedural hurdle awaits before it heads to the governor eagerly waiting to sign it.)

Hopefully the big government warriors get the message: Keep Texas Texas. Nobody wants to see our cities turn into San Francisco, Portland, or Chicago. If they try, the Death Star becomes operational. May the force, and freedom, be with you.


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