SAN ANTONIO — The City of San Antonio on Monday morning announced a lawsuit against the state of Texas over House Bill 2127, better known as the “Death Star” or “Super Preemption” bill.

What You Need To Know

  • The City of San Antonio on Monday announced it is suing Texas over House Bill 227

  • Better known as the "Death Star" or "Super Preemption" bill, the legislation was signed by Gov. Greg Abbott in June. It limits cities and counties from enacting ordinances that exceed what is permitted under state law 

  • Critics have characterized the bill as a power grab by the state

  • Republicans describe it as a pro-business measure 

The bill, which was signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott in June and is set to take effect on Sept. 1, limits local regulation. Specifically, the bill restricts cities and counties from enacting ordinances that exceed what’s permitted under state law.

The City of Houston sued the state over the same bill earlier in July. 

The bill has been decried by opponents as a state power grab that targets local governments, which in many cases are governed by Democrats. For instance, some Austin City Council members passed labor protections such as giving construction workers time to rest because they believe local leaders have the best understanding of their community’s needs, not state lawmakers. 

“The Texas Constitution gives home-rule cities the ability to create local ordinances, and lawmakers have overstepped their authority with House Bill 2127. We do not intend to meekly surrender our community’s right to self-govern,” said San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg. “City Council members—chosen by local voters—work with residents in their neighborhoods and understand their community’s needs and issues far more than lawmakers in Austin.”

The city in a news release said the House Bill 2127 is an attempt by the Texas Legislature to rewrite the Texas Constitution. San Antonio said it is a home-rule city and that the state constitution gives home-rule cities broad authority to adopt ordinances that best meet the needs of its residents.

Republicans have characterized the bill as a pro-business measure.

Texas Republicans in the state legislature say regulating those issues is outside the scope of local authority and that there needs to be consistency for small businesses operating across the state. 

“This is the most pro-business bill this session, but after a pandemic, and now weathering historic inflation, Texas job creators deserve the certainty that this bill delivers,” Sen. Brandon Creighton, R-Conroe, said on the Senate floor.

“The unconstitutionally vague language in HB 2127 purports to strip the power of self-government from home-rule cities. It essentially delegates any home-rule city’s power, in relation to multiple subject matters, to the courts,” said City Attorney Andy Segovia. “House Bill 2127’s vague language poses many more questions for cities than it answers. Its language makes it impossible to understand which specific city ordinances may conflict with state statutes amended by the bill.”

San Antonio further argues that the bill leaves all cities open to legal challenges.

Capital Tonight reporter Reena Diamante contributed to this report.