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Matthew Festa I Jan. 30, 2015

Published on January 29, 2015
South Texas College of Law Professor Matthew Festa recently stopped by Bauer Business Focus to discuss Governor Abbott and state policymakers calling out city governments on a number of issues, urging them to show more restraint in local governing.

South Texas College of Law Professor Matthew Festa recently stopped by Bauer Business Focus to discuss Governor Abbott and state policymakers calling out city governments on a number of issues, urging them to show more restraint in local governing.

On Bauer Business Focus—A conversation on the new Texas legislatures approach to local government affairs with Houston Public Media News 88.7 Business Reporter Andrew Schneider.

At the start of the newest state legislative session, there is more scrutiny being applied to local affairs than it has in the past few terms.

South Texas College of Law Professor Matthew Festa recently stopped by Bauer Business Focus to discuss Governor Abbott and state policymakers calling out city governments on a number of issues, urging them to show more restraint in local governing.

According to Festa, this is unusual given that the state’s majority party tends to be against greater government control or interference, but the basic themes in terms of state bills propose amendments to abridge or tamp down on local control.

“Well, there’s a couple different things that we’re hearing in the media and from speeches and bills that are starting to be submitted to the legislature,” Festa said. “There’s a move to quash cities from enacting equal rights ordinances for same sex relationships. There’s the city of Denton’s ban against fracking that the state really doesn’t like.”

As a result of the clash among policymakers at both levels, a number of lawsuits have been filed, but Festa says that they might not be enough to successfully dislodge new state policies.
“I can’t say for sure what the state’s strategy is, but I do think that the controversies and the lawsuits have themselves helped to bring it to the attention of the legislature,” Festa said. “It’s not a new circumstance. States and local governments have been fighting each other for well over a century since the cities became more powerful.”

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