May 17, 2019, Number 20

Download the full .pdf version here: TML Legislative Update 20

The Last 10 Days of the Legislative Session 

As the legislative session draws to a close, the efforts of League staff will soon focus on summarizing the city-related legislation that has passed.  Additional detail about that legislation will be included in future Legislative Update articles, and staff will prepare an edition with summaries of every city-related bill that passes. This will likely be the last edition until that June 7 “wrap-up” edition.

With just 10 days to go, these are the three remaining marquis issues:

  • Lobbying: Senate Bill 29 would prevent cities, or the associations to which they belong, from lobbying on the issues of tax, debt, or ethics. The bill is on the House floor THIS MORNING AT 11:00 a.m.  Interested city officials must call their House member right now if they wish to have a say on this issue.
  • Revenue Caps: Senate Bill 2 has passed both the Senate and House.  A conference committee will negotiate the differences. Both chambers imposed a revenue cap of 3.5 percent, meaning the final version would most likely pass at that figure. The only sticking point appears to be that the House has linked passage of the bill to Senate passage of H.B. 3, the school finance bill. The two chambers are still fairly far apart on that bill, meaning final resolution of S.B 2 and H.B. 3 could happen in the final days of the session.
  • Building Materials:  House Bill 2439 would prohibit cities from regulating building materials, such as masonry requirements and other building material requirements, such as gas piping standards.  The bill has passed the House and has been recommended for the Senate’s “Local and Uncontested Calendar.”  That’s odd because at least 24 witnesses were opposed to the bill in the House, and the bill is certainly contested by many city officials.  Interested city officials should contact their senator now.

Significant Floor Actions

Electric Vehicles:  H.B. 2163, relating to the types of vehicles regulated as neighborhood electric vehicles. Passed the House.

Authority to Arrest:  H.B. 2754, relating to a limitation on the authority to arrest a person for certain misdemeanors punishable by fine only. Passed the House.

Residential Building Codes:  H.B. 3810, relating to the residential building codes of municipalities. Passed the House.

Religious Beliefs:  S.B. 1978, relating to the protection of religious beliefs and moral convictions, including beliefs and convictions regarding marriage. Passed the Senate.

*Editor’s Note:  The links above lead to the bill’s landing page on the Texas Legislature Online website.  To read the latest version, click on the “text” tab and click on the lowest version on the screen.

Significant Committee Actions

Annexation:  H.B. 1038, relating to a petition by residents of certain counties for an election regarding voter approval of municipal annexation. Reported from the Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations.

Construction Defects:  H.B. 1999, relating to certain construction liability claims concerning public buildings and public works.  Reported from the Senate State Affairs Committee. 

Electric Bicycles:  H.B. 2188, relating to the operation of electric and nonelectric bicycles. Reported from the Senate Committee on Transportation.

Legal Services Contracts:  H.B. 2826, relating to procurement of a contingent fee contract for legal services by certain governmental entities. Reported from the Senate Committee on State Affairs.

Land Development Applications:  H.B. 3167, relating to county and municipal approval procedure for land development applications. Reported from the Senate Committee on Business and Commerce.

Debt Ballot Language:  S.B. 30, relating to ballot language for a proposition seeking voter approval for the issuance of bonds. Reported from the House Committee on Pensions, Investments, & Financial Services.

Ballot Language:  S.B. 323, relating to the review of ballot proposition language for certain political subdivision elections. Reported from the House Committee on Elections. Sent to Calendars.

Lobby Reporting:  S.B. 702, relating to the use by a political subdivision of public money for lobbying and certain other activities.  Reported from the House Committee on State Affairs.

Municipal Fees:  S.B. 849, relating to requirements for new or increased municipal fees. Reported from the House Committee on Urban Affairs.

Digital Mapping and ETJ Notifications:  S.B. 1303, relating to maps of the actual or proposed boundaries and extraterritorial jurisdiction of a municipality and certain notices related to expanding the boundaries. Reported from the House Committee on Land and Resource Management.

Zoning Classifications:  S.B. 1304, relating to notice of proposed changes to municipal zoning classifications. Reported from the House Committee on Land and Resource Management.

Appraisal Suits:  S.B. 1428, relating to the authority of a property owner to bring suit to compel an appraisal district, chief appraiser, or appraisal review board to comply with a procedural requirement applicable to an ad valorem tax protest. Reported from the House Committee on Ways and Means.

Renewable Resources: S.B. 2066, relating to distributed renewable generation resources. Reported from the House Committee on State Affairs.

Debt Ballot Propositions:  S.B. 2219, relating to the notice required before the issuance of certain debt obligations by political subdivisions.  Reported from the House Committee on Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services.

*Editor’s Note:  The links above lead to the bill’s landing page on the Texas Legislature Online website.  To read the latest version, click on the “text” tab and click on the lowest version on the screen.

City Officials Testify

When the legislature is in session, nothing compares to the effectiveness of city officials testifying at the Capitol. City officials who take the time to travel to Austin to speak out on important city issues should be applauded by us all. The League extends its thanks to all those who have vigilantly represented cities during this session.  This list generally covers testimony through Monday of each week.  Witnesses who testified later than that date will be included in the next week’s edition.  If we missed your testimony let us know by an email to, and we’ll recognize you in next week’s edition. 

The following officials testified in committee hearings:

  • Donald Glywasky, City Attorney, City of Galveston
  • Nicole Smothers, Division Manager, City of Houston
  • Jeff Coyle, Director of Government and Public Affairs, City of San Antonio
  • Kathryn Bruning, Asst. Director – Administration & Regulatory Affairs, City of Houston
  • Sara Post Meyer, Mayor, City of Cuero
  • LaNiece Blue, City of Houston
  • Bill Kelly, Director Government Relations, City of Houston
  • Ricardo Ramirez, Intergovernmental Relations Manager, City of Sugar Land
  • Michelle Bonner, Deputy City Manager, City of Amarillo
  • Steve Massengale, Councilmember, City of Lubbock
  • John Bruce, Chief of Police, City of Frisco
  • Jeff Headley, Detective, City of Houston Police Department
  • Donovan Burton, VP – Water Resources and Gov. Relations, San Antonio Water System
  • Carol Haddock, Director – Houston Public Works, City of Houston
  • Joe Zimmerman, Mayor, City of Sugar Land
  • Hope Wells, Water Resources Counsel, San Antonio Water System
  • Brian Maxwell, City Manager, City of Galveston
  • Mary Lucille Anderson, Senior Assistant City Attorney, City of Houston


TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.