Essay On Texas Government

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Texas government has a unique style of legislature in the manner in which it functions. In this essay I will attempt to briefly cover: the structure and role of local governments within the state of Texas; the purpose and function of each type of local government; the consolidation of county and city functions into a single governmental entity; and if Texas would be better served by maintaining its several, distinct, types of government, or by consolidating them into broader units of government that would handle the various functions within a single governmental entity.
The state of Texas operates under a 131 year old constitution, comprised of 385 sections. Amendments to the Constitution are voted in and out at least every two years. The …show more content…

Under the Home Rule laws, cities may choose any organizational form or policies as long as they do not conflict with the state constitution or state laws. While under General Rule laws, cities may organize according to any of the traditional forms of municipal government The legal position of home rule cities is the reverse of general law cities. Rather than looking to the state constitution to determine what they may do, as general law cities must, home rule cities look to the state constitution and state statutes for what they may not do. Thus, if a proposed home rule city action has not been prohibited or preempted by the state, the city as a rule can proceed.
A special district is a unit of local government created to perform limited functions. Texas statutes stipulate that the legislature can create some types of special districts, that counties and municipalities can create some types of special districts (utilities, other basic services, and economic development) and that even some state agencies can create some special districts (natural resources). Special districts lack uniformity and resulting confusion is caused. Special Districts tend to be “hidden governments,” with far less visibility than city or county …show more content…

What may be a good reason for some may not look so good to others. It is my belief that Texans in general are not ready to accept this type of change. I have a good friend that has recently retired and is a native Texan. I recently spoke to him regarding his thoughts on the subject of consolidation of local government; this is what he had to say. “I do not believe that this would benefit the citizens in rural locations. A consolidation would force them to travel more of a distance to a commissioner’s court or city council meeting, resulting in the fact that these residents would eventually lose their voice. Currently every county has their own county court house, which makes it more convenient for the county residents. The fear that decisions made outside of the county may benefit larger corporations, but hurt the small business in rural areas, such as farming, cattle ranchers, and game.” (Whitesides) As an example, the Texas Central Partners are currently planning on breaking ground on the development of a high speed rail. The plan is to have a train that will travel between Houston and Dallas in under 90 minutes. This may sound great for the big cities, but the negative effects on rural locations would be devastating. Residents would be forced out of their homes, some of which have been passed down from generation to generation. These families would be forced to relocate and build a new

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