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Republicans Pass Sweeping Authoritarian Bill
And some Democratic Lawmakers betray their constituents.
House Bill 2127 was read for the second time in the House on Tuesday, which led to a five-hour debate. This bill is terrible and targets urban and suburban Texans, removing the ability for cities and counties to make their own rules and ordinances.
Before going any further, we must discuss the term “authoritarian,” as one of the propagandists at TPPF challenged me on this language yesterday.
“Personal freedom” refers to an individual’s ability to act, speak, or think without external restraint or coercion. It is the freedom of individuals to make choices that affect their own lives without interference from external forces, such as the government, other individuals, or institutions.
There can be limits to personal freedom in certain circumstances, such as when it infringes on the rights of others or threatens public safety.
So, removing local ordinances that have to do with discrimination, water conservation, running a business a particular way, or even having rules in place for how the police interact with the public, and then forcing the city to enforce the state’s fascist regime is authoritarian.
Removing local ordinances and forcing a city to enforce state laws is an attempt to exert control over local populations and limit their individual freedoms. Period.
What does the bill say?
“H.B. 2127, the Texas Regulatory Consistency Act, seeks to provide consistency and predictability by preempting local regulation of matters regulated by the state in the Agriculture Code, Business & Commerce Code, Finance Code, Insurance Code, Labor Code, Natural Resources Code, Occupations Code, or Property Code and empowering Texans to take legal action against a municipality, county, or official whose conflicting regulations adversely affected them with the possibility of recovering legal relief and associated legal costs.”
This bill will prevent local governments from creating regulations conflicting with state-level laws on specific topics, including agriculture, business, finance, insurance, labor, natural resources, occupations, or property. We’ll get into what each of those means, but before we do, we have to talk about who signed onto this bill.
Representative Richard Raymond authored, and Representative Oscar Longoria coauthored this bill. That’s a problem since they are both supposed to be Democrats. This goes 100% against Democratic principles and 100% against what’s written on the Texas Democratic Party platform:
Democrats are SUPPOSED to stand for local control. Raymond represents District 42, based out of Lorado, and Longoria represents District 35, based out of Mission. They should both be censured by their local partied and primaried with progressives that won’t betray Democratic principles.
There were also Democrats who voted with the Republicans during the amendments their colleagues attempted to add. Therefore, they should also be censured.
Fascists have literally overtaken our country and our state, and collaboration is the worst action our so-called trusted leaders should be taking.
Representative Dustin Burrows is a millionaire from Lubbock, this bill was his brainchild, or so he claimed. Watch the layout of the bill, including the moment it was realized he took this legislation directly from ALEC.
The first amendment was from Representative Chris Turner to kill the bill.
Here are the Democrats who voted against that:
Raymond and Longoria were joined by Representatives Dutton, Guerra, T. King, Muñoz, and E. Morales.
Democrats introduced amendment after amendment to save local control. Here are just some of them:
Does not affect the authority of a municipality or county to adopt, enforce, or maintain an ordinance, order, or rule regulating a residential property, including a single-family dwelling unit or condominium, cooperative, or time-share, that is rented wholly or partly for a fee for a period not longer than 30 consecutive days;
Does not affect the authority of a municipality or county to adopt, enforce, or maintain an ordinance, order, or rule that regulates a game room, as defined by Section 234.131, Local Government Code;
May not be construed to prohibit a municipality from taking any action, adopting any policy, or passing any ordinance or rule about the performance of the municipality’s proprietary functions;
May not be construed to prohibit a municipality or county from enacting health and safety requirements;
May not be construed to prohibit a municipality or county from enacting measures to provide relief from natural disasters; and
May not be construed to prohibit a municipality or county from enacting prohibitions on employment discrimination;
This section does not apply to an ordinance, order, or rule that encourages, promotes, or provides rebates to promote soil and water conservation best practices, provided that the regulation, order, or rule does not conflict with state or federal law.
Regulates a contract or agreement entered into between a private entity and a governmental entity; (2)AArelates to terms of employment in a contract or agreement entered into between a private employer or entity, including an entity representing municipal or county employees, and a governmental entity;
Is consistent with the standards and recommendations relating to heat and workforce safety contained in the version as of April 18, 2023, of the Criteria for a Recommended Standard: Occupational Exposure to Heat and Hot Environments published by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health;
Seeks to educate workers, employers, or the public about wage theft, as defined by this code, the Penal Code, or the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (29 U.S.C. Section 201 et seq.); or
Prohibits any adverse treatment, harassment, or limitation based on an individual’s actual or perceived membership in a class protected by the ordinance, order, or rule.
This section does not apply to an ordinance, order, or rule prohibiting discrimination based on an individual’s language fluency, literacy, or accent.
There was a lot more. Democrats introduced 38 amendments; in each one, Republicans voted it down, and a handful of Democrats joined them.
This included amendments allowing cities to keep local rules and ordinances regarding disaster emergencies, health, and safety codes, worker safety, discrimination of all types, and sexual assault.
Here was the final vote:
Seven supposed Democrats joined Republicans to take away local control. Remember their names when it’s time for the primary elections.
Authoritarianism is here. What are you going to do to fight back?