Texas Senate Passes Historical Disannexation Bill

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Senator Paul Bettencourt, a Republican from Houston, has passed a groundbreaking disannexation bill in the Texas Senate. SB 2038 now heads to the Governor’s desk for final review. The bill allows residents and property owners to remove themselves from municipal government Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ) through letter, petition, and election procedures. This marks a significant step in empowering citizens and limiting government overreach.

Senator Bettencourt declared, “No Regulation without Representation!” emphasizing the importance of ensuring that citizens have a say in the rules and regulations that govern their property. Under the current system, municipalities have been given broad authority to enforce rules and regulations to promote public health, safety, and welfare. However, this has led to the practice of involuntary annexation, whereby municipalities annex land without the consent of the residents, leaving them subject to regulations and taxes without representation.

SB 2038 creates a universal disannexation process that enables residents to exit municipal government ETJs, empowering them with a simple path to disannexation. “For a long time, property owners had no way out, but that ends now,” concluded Senator Bettencourt. He has worked on these issues with House Sponsor Rep. Cecil Bell for years. The bill was passed with the support of House Authors Representative Cecil Bell Jr (R-Magnolia), Mike Schofield (R-Katy), and others, reflecting a growing concern among conservatives regarding the balance between government power and individual rights.

The passage of SB 2038 follows significant annexation reforms in 2019 when HB 347 was passed into law, eliminating forced annexation in Texas altogether. With this latest legislation, Texas is taking another step towards limiting government overreach and empowering citizens. As the bill heads to Governor Greg Abbott’s desk, it represents a significant win for conservatives who have long championed individual liberty and limited government intervention

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