Tree ordinance repeal likely to stall with stand-off at state house

August 14, 2017

With only three days left in the legislative special session, legislators worked over the weekend to give final approval to two measures and sending them to Governor Greg Abbott for his signature.

But a proposed law that would nullify the popular West University Place tree preservation ordinance is likely to be the victim of a stalemate between the Texas Senate and the Texas House of Representatives.

Gov. Greg Abbott asked for the legislation that would preëmpt municipal tree preservation ordinances like the one adopted almost 30 years ago by the City of West University Place.

The Senate promptly passed Abbott’s proposed tree ordinance. But the House amended it in a way that would essentially codify in state law a municipality’s ability to have city ordinances like the one on the books in West University Place.

The Senate would have to adopt the House’s amended bill for the proposed legislation to land on the Governor’s desk. The Senate is unlikely to accept the House bill, and even if they did, the Governor would almost certainly veto it. The House bill is identical to one passed by both chambers in the regular legislative session and was vetoed by Abbott.

So far, five of the 20 items set for consideration by Abbott for the special session have made their way to
his desk, with only three days left to consider the rest.

Two of the bills deal with abortion. The first, HB 214, would ban abortion coverage for insurance offered to state employees, private group insurance and insurance purchased through the ACA exchange. Abortion coverage would have to be purchased through a separate policy. The second, HB 215, sponsored by Senator Bryan Hughes of

The second, HB 215, would add more reporting requirements for abortions involving minor women, requiring providers to report to state health officials the number, place, and means of permission for minors who get abortions. Minors seeking abortion in Texas must get either parental approval or a judicial order.

George Boehme

George Boehme is the publisher of and West University Essentials magazine.

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