City of Lubbock adopts legislative agenda for upcoming session

Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 8:29 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2022 at 10:19 PM CST
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LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - The Lubbock City Council has adopted its agenda for the upcoming legislative sessions in Austin and Washington. Much of the focus is on the 88th Texas Legislative Session, which begins in January. The 118th United States Congress will also convene in January. See the City of Lubbock Legislative Agenda below.

The Eighty-Eighth Texas Legislature

The City will support:

· Efforts to designate Interstate-27 north and south from its current limits to support growth throughout the state, to enhance safety, to enhance passenger and freight mobility and to support international trade through Texas.

· Efforts to fund the appropriate capital costs to construct Interstate-27 from its current limits to interstate highway standards.

· Efforts to ensure long-term funding for the remaining development and construction of Loop 88

· Lubbock Power & Light’s efforts to enter the competitive market for retail electrical power provider choice

· Allow cities the option of using either an official newspaper or a website for the publication of legal notices

· Rules as proposed by the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts in relation to destination sales tax sourcing

· Changes to the sales tax refund and reallocation process that converts the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts current ministerial process into a formalized administrative process

· Efforts to remove minimum sales thresholds through online marketplaces to establish equity between online and traditional retailers

· Efforts to require marketplace providers or facilitators of short-term rentals to remit the local portion of the HOT tax directly to the appropriate municipality.

· Police Reform initiatives that are subject to local approval by duly elected governing bodies

· Changes to Chapter 143, Local Government Code that would enhance Police and Fire Chiefs’ authority in personnel matters

· Inclusion of Larger Municipal Fire Departments in matters before the Texas Commission of Fire Protection (TCFP) Board

· Efforts to ensure cities can appropriately manage all utility installations within City rights-of-way including the ability to charge market-based rates for access to City rights-of-ways to all users

· Expansion of broadband availability throughout Texas and provision of necessary state and federal funding for such expansion

· Funding for Texas Tech University, the Texas Tech University Veterinary School and the Texas Tech University Mental Health Institute, including dedicated funding such as the PUF or other state sources

· Full funding for the Texas Recreation & Parks Account local grant program

· Full restoration and increase of state funding for mental health treatment

· Creation and funding of state programs to address chronic homelessness

· Efforts to add municipal parks as an eligible use for HOT funding, subject to local approval

· Promotion of pay-as-you-go financing for capital investments and improvements through authorization of a dedicated property tax rate that is classified similarly to the debt service tax rate in property tax calculations

· Establish meaningful amendments to the equity appraisal statute such as closing the “dark store” theory for appraisal.

· Restoration of Chapter 313 Tax Abatement Eligibility for school districts

· Funding for the Texas Veterans Land Board to support the creation, operation & maintenance of Veterans Cemeteries

· Efforts to enhance public safety Workers Compensation lifetime benefit coverage for line-of-duty traumatic head injuries

· Efforts to allow the City of Lubbock the option to adopt the Vacant Building and Minimum Maintenance Standards authority allowed other municipalities.

The City will oppose:

· Limits on effective municipal participation in the legislative process and the ability to hire representatives with public funds to represent the City in accordance with this duly adopted legislative agenda on matters that would impact the City or our residents

· New limits on City authority including additional appraisal or revenue caps or lowered rollback requirements

· New limits on the use or calculations involving issuance of certificates of obligation by municipalities

· Limits on municipal Home Rule authority or local control

· Limits on municipal authority commonly known as preemption or super preemption bills

· Increased pass-through or regulatory fees on cities that are collected for or on-behalf of the state

· Removal of city original jurisdiction in utility rate-making proceedings or removal of the ability to recover reasonable expenses involved in rate-making proceedings, including contested cases

· Limits or diminution of the State or Regional Water Planning or Flood Planning process

· Reduction or limits on the Event Trust Fund program

· Efforts to abolish the concept of the Extra-Territorial Jurisdiction (ETJ)

The 117th and 118th United States Congress

The City will support:

· Additional funding for mass transportation and highway systems

· Funding for the development of the Texas portion of the Ports to Plains Corridor (Interstate 27) north and south of Lubbock. This designation supports international trade, freight mobility and agriculture.

· Continued funding for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) and HOME Partnership Programs

· Funding for the United States Department of Veterans Affairs to support the creation, operation & maintenance of Veterans Cemeteries

· Efforts, including through the American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE), to ensure the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) provides airports and municipal fire departments with protection from CERCLA liability if it can be shown that an airport’s use of AFFF complied with federal requirements and that use was discontinued in firefighting once hazards were identified or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) provided an approved alternate agent.