Dallas Prepares Own Agenda For Next Legislative Session

Steven Pickering
November 08, 2018 - 7:58 am
Texas Capitol Building

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DALLAS (1080 KRLD) - The City of Dallas is working on its agenda for the next session of the Texas Legislature. One of the city's biggest priorities will be to head off any challenges to its authority to adopt local regulations or set the local tax rate.

"It's playing defense," said Legislative Director Clifford Sparks, "to allow the City Council to continue to play offense in the future." He told the City Council this week that he expected lawmakers in Austin to target the local control on several issues exercised by cities. "The sentiment is that they want to take tools off the table," he said. "Our sentiment is that we don't think that they should."

Council Members agreed that defending the city's authority should be a priority. "Austin has become very anti-city. Asking them to do stuff pro-actively for us is just kind of a pipe dream," said Council Member Lee Kleinman. "It is our job to go down and defend the City and defend our home-rule authority."

Staffers say they will advocate for the renewal of a popular economic development law that's set to expire next year. The law allows cities and counties to offer tax breaks in order to attract new businesses.

Mayor Mike Rawlings urged staffers to build positive relationships with officials in Austin. "I think we've got to figure out how we have better dialog with the Republican leadership in Austin," he said. "We should be setting down with the Chairmen across this state and talking about these issues."

State lawmakers return to Austin for their next session on January 8th, 2019.