State Legislative Program
Cities and local governments are the governments closest to the people - providing services that citizens rely on such as police and fire protection, emergency medical services, streets and traffic management, solid waste services, water, and wastewater treatment, stormwater management, parks and recreation centers, animal control, and a host of other services that help to maintain a community and its quality of life.
It's these quality amenities, which are a part of a planned and deliberate approach, that set us apart and make Sugar Land different and unique. They are what continue to attract residents, businesses, and visitors to our city. It’s the “Sugar Land Way,” and it is important that we are able to continue to prioritize the investments that support the outstanding quality of life that our residents have come to expect. In fact, a recent citizen satisfaction survey found that ninety-seven percent (97%) of respondents believe that Sugar Land is either an “excellent” or “good” place to live.
As such, the Texas Legislature has the power to touch every aspect of city government, in both positive and negative ways. Therefore, the City has developed a legislative program that aims to empower the City to make local decisions necessary to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens while opposing any measure that would diminish the City’s ability to function effectively or that would erode its authority to govern over its own local affairs in the best interest of our residents.
Accordingly, as part of the City's Intergovernmental Relations program, the City Council has prepared a Legislative Agenda for the 86th Texas Legislature, which will begin in January 2019. The Legislative Agenda is the backbone of all efforts contained within our Legislative Program. The purpose of the Legislative Agenda is to provide state elected leaders with the City Council's position on legislative topics that will be discussed and debated during the 2019-2020 biennium.
The Legislative Agenda also provides direction to city intergovernmental relations staff on which issues to monitor and how to respond to proposed legislation that could impact the City – all with the goal of ensuring the City is able to pursue and implement the priorities of Sugar Land residents.
The 2019 State Legislative Agenda focuses on several key priorities, including:
- Supporting legislation that allows for locally elected officials to make decisions that are beneficial to the interests of City residents;
- Opposing legislation that is detrimental to the City’s ability to pursue citizen priorities or respond to local citizen concerns; and
- Supporting legislation that reduces the overall tax burden on residents and businesses without reducing vital funding for critical public safety services and other services on which residents depend and expect.
Additionally, it also includes one "proactive" position statement in which the City will seek introduction and passage of legislation that accomplishes the goals of Resolution No. 18-26, which was adopted by City Council on August 21, 2018. The resolution requests the Texas Municipal League to seek introduction and passage of legislation in the 86th Texas Legislative Session, granting cities the right to obtain information on incidents within their jurisdiction that affect the public health of the general public and first responders, and obligating state agencies to provide immediate notice to cities when incidents occur that may result in an immediate public health risk or compromise critical infrastructure within the City.