A Texas judge declared a law that prevented cities from passing some local ordinances unconstitutional.
The law, championed by the Republican Gov. Greg Abbott, effectively limited the power of Democratic-led cities.
The law even eliminated ordinances that mandated water breaks for construction workers, earning it the nickname "the law that kills."
Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, a Republican, signed a bill into law in June that prohibited cities from passing certain local ordinances. It was widely seen as an effort to curb the power of Democratic-led cities.
Now, a judge has ruled it unconstitutional.
"I am thrilled that Houston, our legal department, and sister cities were able to obtain this victory for Texas cities," Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston wrote in a statement. "HB 2127 was a power grab by the Legislature and an unwarranted and unconstitutional intrusion into local power granted to Houston and other home-rule cities by the Texas Constitution."
The Office of the Attorney General has appealed Gamble's decision, Paige Willey, the director of communications for the Office, said.
"While the judge declared HB 2127 unconstitutional, she did not enjoin enforcement of the law by Texans who are harmed by local ordinances, which HB 2127 preempts," Willey wrote to Insider. "The Office of the Attorney General has also immediately appealed because the ruling is incorrect. This will stay the effect of the court's declaration pending appeal. As a result, HB 2127 will go into effect on September 1."
The law even prevented ordinances that mandated things such as water breaks for construction workers, earning it the nickname "the law that kills." Texas saw protests from construction workers and their allies who said that an end to local water break mandates would result in more incidents of heat-related illness and death.
"This is a HUGE win for the working people of Texas, local govs, and communities across our state," the Texas AFL-CIO posted in response to the decision. "While we expect an appeal, it remains clear this law is an unacceptable infringement on the rights of Texans and cities."
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