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City of Houston takes legal action to block so-called 'Death Star' law

HB 2127 is known as the Texas Regulatory Consistency Act. Its authors said it helps to create consistency. Opponents said it drastically limits local governments.

HOUSTON — The City of Houston is taking legal action against the state over the so-called "Death Star" law that was passed during the legislative session and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott.

The City has filed a lawsuit in hopes of having the law, which goes into effect Sept. 1, declared unconstitutional. The law prevents and strikes down ordinances from cities and counties that go further than state law in areas like labor, business and finance.

Supporters of House Bill 2127, also known as the Texas Regulatory Consistency Act, said it aims to create consistent regulations to help keep the Texas economy growing. Opponents of the bill said it could drastically limit local governments and their ability to make rules on things like noise complaints, drought restrictions, and labor rights.

It would also allow Texans to sue officials or governments if they feel they're being improperly regulated.

"The Texas Constitution expressly champions the local control and innovation that has been key to the tremendous economic dynamism in cities like Houston,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said in a statement Monday. “HB 2127 reverses over 100 years of Texas constitutional law without amending the Constitution.”

The legislation made national headlines earlier this year because it takes away local rules mandating water breaks for construction workers. Abbott released a statement saying that the bill was consistent with OSHA and didn’t stop people from taking water breaks.

Rep. Dustin Burrows (R - Lubbock) is the author of the soon-to-be law. 

You can read the full suit here.

Turner held a news conference on Monday afternoon to talk about the lawsuit:

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