Council to Sneak Peek Pending State, Federal Legislation That Could Affect Dallas

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Doubtful Andrea's liveblogging today's meeting of the council's Ad Hoc Legislative Committee, fascinating though it may be. Because today's the day the council gets its Federal Legislative Update and the Development of the City's Legislative Program for the 82nd Session of the Texas Legislature, for which the city pays big money. So, then, might as well get our $502,000 worth.

First, what's on the D.C. to-do list? Say the fine folks at CapitalEdge Strategies, Dallas's lobbyists in Washington, over the next few months there are a few items on the agenda that could pose "additional threats to City authority," among them a Congressional bill that would mandate tighter security around chemical facilities (which "threatens to increase City drinking water and wastewater costs"); a House and Senate telcom overhaul that, when joined with the FCC's National Broadband Plan, could create "intense industry pressure to preempt local authority and revenue collection"; and collective bargaining legislation that "enjoys strong support and poses a threat to City finances and employee relations." And then there's another look at Eddie Bernice Johnson's solid on behalf of the Trinity River Corridor Project and a peek at the $26 mil or so for the Dallas Floodway in pending appropriation bills.

On the state side, there's a lot to look at -- chiefly, which pieces of pending legislation have the city's backing. Like, say, "Amend Texas Alcoholic Beverage Code to address preemption of municipal regulation of alcohol so that Council may take action to prevent concentrations of alcohol-related businesses." Or: "Pass legislation that prohibits Home Owner Associations (HOA's) from denying requests to install solar panels on residential homes." Or: "Pass legislation that facilitates the recycling of electronic waste and plastic bottles." The biggie, though:
The City will need to focus much of its effort on defending against attacks against local control and cities' ability to establish their own budgets and meet their revenue requirements in order to ensure a safe and secure community, provide basic services and maintain a sound infrastructure system. It is anticipated that several bills will be filed that in some manner that will impose restraints on local control over the budgetsetting process.

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