Gutting Local Control

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Gutting local control -- this is what they were they doing after all the hubbub on bathrooms last night. You heard it here first, thanks to Judith McGeary of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance. An amendment (Amendment 1) came late last night to the already bad seed bill SB 1172, hand out to Monsanto. This nasty “little” amendment is a far reaching attack on local control.

The bill is likely to come back for a 3rd reading in a few hours. Though it’s very hard to change outcome on a third reading, we ask you to try. Why? It's a notice to all House members that the independent movement, currently nipping at their heels, is getting ready now for the next two years to build with their bad seedy deeds.

Do this now please! Call your Texas House Representative (or email, if you can’t call) and ask them to “strip Amendment 1 out of SB 1172!”

Find your representative here.

Background:

State Rep. Charlie Geren (R-River Oaks) called the amendment a “citizen suit” provision, but it’s not.  A citizen suit provision gives anyone the right to sue to enforce the law – empowering everyday Texans to make sure government stays in line.  In fact, Geren’s amendment only gives power to those who hold state licenses, permits, or registrations to sue a local government that seeks to regulate them in ANY way. Therefore, instead of the normal law, which requires a plaintiff to prove its case, the burden will be on the local government to prove “by clear and convincing evidence” that its regulation doesn’t “conflict” with state law.

Note that farmers aren’t licensed by the state.  So while the Monsanto seed bill has been pushed as a measure to protect farmers (which it’s not), they wouldn’t even have standing under this provision!

So really what’s going on?

The amendment is NOT limited to the issue of seeds or even the agriculture code – it’s wide open.  It seems to empower any state-licensed business of any kind to sue local governments for any kind of regulation.  This guts local control on almost every issue.

If this gets passed, get ready for the real work ahead. That's right, the parties will have opened the door for an up-from-the-bottom independent voter revolt. They will have brought it on themselves!

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7 comments

  1. Linda, The way I’m reading this, this issue was last night for the 3rd reading? So in theory people would have to be on top of this in the middle of the night? Also, the time stamp on both comments here show May 22 at 4:03pm while I’m typing this at 11:59 am May 22nd, just a minute before lunch. I just got this email in my box a few minutes ago, while I synced at about 7:30 this morning. Help please.

    1. This third reading happened not long ago — today — and it was not close. However, some of the broad language was stripped out of Amendment 1. That said, we are told that the bill still has major problems. Working on getting this information for you. Thanks for trying!

  2. Called Sen. Zaffirini’s office and spoke to staffer. SB 1172 will be voted on by the Tx Senate next.
    Could not find the text of the bad amendment posted online yet. Neither could the staffer. Need to send out a link to it as soon as it is posted.

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