Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Texas doesn't need California style "local control"

"But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men."
Acts 5:29

TPPF's James Quintero elaborates upon Governor Abbott's call to curtail local governments' ability to infringe citizens' property rights:
Abbott continued: “Some cities are telling citizens you don’t own some of the things on your property that you have purchased and owned for a long time, things like trees. This is a form of collectivism.”

And, of course, he’s right.

More and more municipalities are passing nanny state restrictions and regulations that infringe upon Texans’ personal freedoms, property rights, and livelihood. Indeed, there seems to be no nook or cranny too small to escape the growing regulatory reach of Texas’ local governments.

The glut of new rules and restraints run the gamut from the types of businesses allowed within city limits to the kind of bags a person can use at the grocery store to the things a person can and cannot do in the privacy of their own vehicle.

More often than not, the justification given for these intrusions hinges on “local control,” or the state-afforded authority granted to communities to govern certain policy areas. Local governments know best how to solve their problems, or so the thinking goes.

But where this rationale frequently goes off the rails is in its emphasis of local control over other, more important governing principles, such as liberty.

Liberty, not local control, is the overriding principle that should inform and direct our public policy makers. For without liberty, local control simply becomes a means toward the end of local tyranny.


Some might balk at the idea of Legislature tamping down on local overregulation, but it’s important to remember that municipalities are creatures of the state and they derive their authority from state government. As such, putting the kibosh on local government overreach is a perfectly legitimate exercise for state officials to undertake, especially when it’s done in defense of liberty.

The mishmash of restrictive regulations that ought to come under scrutiny from the new Legislature include those mentioned by Abbott — Denton’s fracking ban, San Antonio’s tree-cutting ban, and the many, likely illegal plastic bag ban and fee ordinances that have been enacted around Texas — as well as onerous ride- sharing regulations that have made it difficult for companies like Uber and Lyft to operate.

Undoubtedly, local governments and the numerous associations that represent them at the Capitol will not take kindly to the idea that local control is secondary to liberty.
 Read the whole thing here.

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