Most reform efforts aimed at restricting a city’s authority occur long after it’s incorporation, either by adopting new charter amendments or by citizen-led petition drives that force ballot referendums. But freshman State Sen. Konni Burton (R-Colleyville) is proposing an alternative. She recently filed SB 710, a bill that would allow freedom-loving Texans to resist big government from their city’s inception.
Under current law, citizens with a desire to incorporate have three options; Type A, B, and C general law municipalities. If Burton’s bill passes, they would also have a fourth option, aptly named, “Liberty City.”
A recent TPPF report described the purpose of the “Liberty City” option:
“A Liberty City is a town that incorporates for the express purpose of maintaining limited government, pro-free market policies, and protecting the rights of its citizens. The Liberty City stands in stark contrast to many local governments that attempt to manage their economies and regulate the lives of their citizens…Liberty Cities also protect their citizens from being annexed into higher-tax and higher-regulation larger cities, because in Texas, no municipality can forcefully annex another municipality.”
Jess Fields, a Senior Policy Analyst at TPPF’s Center for Local Government, recently penned an op-ed for Breitbart Texas, emphasizing how important this new tool will be for residents seeking greater freedom by limiting local government.
“As big cities trample on the rights of Texans all over the state, there has to be a way to fight back…If this idea is successful, Texans will gain the opportunity not just to fight city hall, but to create their own – one focused on protecting their individual rights, spending their money wisely, and fighting big government.”
Whether or not the idea will become a legislative priority remains to be seen. As with any issue, one thing is for certain—it’s far less likely to gain traction if Texans fail to engage their state legislators.