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Legislation to Curb Local Laws Moving Forward in Oklahoma, Texas

The Oklahoma State Legislature is well on its way to passing Senate Bill 809, which would limit local power to regulate oil and gas drilling. In Texas, Senate Bill 343 would end "home rule" on many issues, fracking included.
April 28, 2015, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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William Crum reports on Oklahoma's SB 809, which is expected to reach the governor's desk for approval. Crum mostly explores the implications of the law on cities such as Oklahoma City. Crum quotes a statement from Jane Abraham, in the office of City Manager Jim Crouch, which notes that the bill would limit the city's ability "to control zoning and the placement of oil and gas drilling operations within city limits." Another post on Oil & Gas 360 provides more details about the language of the bill.

Casey Tolan provides in-depth analysis of Texas Senate Bill 343, which "would prohibit cities from passing laws or regulations that contradict state law, or from adopting laws 'more stringent' than state law."

Adds Tolan: "Of Texas’ 1,200 municipalities, 380 are 'home rule' cities, which means they have their own government and city charter. Under current law, the state can still overrule specific government actions of home rule cities, but the new bill would prevent cities from regulating or legislating on any topic the state takes up."

Tolan goes on to detail the reactions of local governments to the legislation, most of which are unsurprisingly displeased. Tolan notes that the law arose in response to frackin bans passed by towns in North Texas. State Senator Don Huffines (R-Dallas) made his case in proposing the bill in an article by Rachel Rice in the Austin American Statesmen. There, Sen. Huffines says the law would have a simple effect: "to get all political subdivisions … to operate under state law." Rebecca Collins provides additional coverage of the bill for The Bay Area Observer.

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