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Category Archives: Local Governmental Entities

Plastic Bags and Local Control: Laredo Ordinance Case Pitches State vs. Cities

By Judith El Masri |

A gradual and steady decline of local control by municipalities in Texas began in the last five years and this erosion continues. Our firm has written several blogs on this topic. I continually discover new areas of preemption by State law, such as fracking, oil and gas development, driving and texting, all of which… Read More »

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Public Information Requests in Texas – That Information’s Gonna Cost You

By Byron L. Brown |

The Texas Public Information Act governs the public’s access to information held by governmental bodies in Texas. It also governs the cost of obtaining such information. Specifically, the Act states that “[t]he charge for providing a copy of public information shall be an amount that reasonably includes all costs related to reproducing the public… Read More »

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Making Sure Government Buildings Are ADA Compliant

By Drew Shirley |

The essence of Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliance is removing barriers to accessibility that amount to discrimination. Essentially, state and local government facilities must follow Title II of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design to be in full compliance. The standards for removing barriers to accessibility include four different priorities to be addressed, from most… Read More »

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Make It Count, Texas: Participate in the U.S. Census

By Brandon Morris |

With the 2020 Census looming, the Census Bureau is currently working to make the process more efficient, but it’s important that Texans do their part. Here’s how the census works; the Census Bureau mails out forms to each household which are to be filled out and returned. Citizens can also opt to respond to… Read More »

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On the Eve of the First Hurricane Season Since Harvey, Is Houston Ready?

By Judith El Masri |

The 2018 hurricane season officially starts in a month. Houston residents, municipalities, and politicians don’t seem to have noticed. Eight months post-Hurricane Harvey and little, if any, progress has been achieved regarding long-term plans (or short-term plans) for the way Houston development should occur to avoid flooding of homes and businesses. The terms 100-year… Read More »

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Make Your Vote Count in the May 5 Texas Election

By Byron L. Brown |

Well, it’s election season again in Texas. Two uniform election dates occur each year in the Lone Star State: (1) the first Saturday in May, and (2) the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November. That makes next Saturday, May 5, 2018, the big day for candidates running for public office all across… Read More »

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How Are Gaming Rooms Regulated in Texas?

By Drew Shirley |

Gambling is generally prohibited in Texas but there are many exceptions to the general rule. Game rooms are generally authorized so long as they do not have illegal gambling devices. Specifically, so-called “eight-liner” machines are illegal gambling devices, unless the prizes awarded are non-cash items that are worth no more than 10 times the… Read More »

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Tax Incentive Provisions for Local Governments in Texas Set to Sunset Next Year

By Brandon Morris |

Attracting new businesses is a major point of emphasis for many Texas cities. New business means a growing community and new job opportunities. In Texas, cities and counties currently have a powerful instrument at their disposal to entice new businesses to join their community, but that may not be the case going forward. Under… Read More »

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Changes to Texas traffic laws: Autonomous vehicles, Cell Phones and Child Rescues

By Judith El Masri |

If you are a licensed driver here in Texas, chances are you have received a traffic ticket at some point in your driving history. If you are a driver in a large city, like my home Houston, odds are you may have gotten a traffic ticket from one of several law enforcement agencies. If… Read More »

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Texas Cities Pass Dog-Friendly Ordinances to Restrict Tethering

By Brandon Morris |

At some point in your life, you’ve likely seen a dog tied to a stake in the ground or tethered to a pole. Granted, sometimes it is necessary to restrain your pup. After all, we can’t just leave dogs free to roam around the city. That can be dangerous, and in many instances, against… Read More »

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