Texas mayors meet in Austin

Mayors from across Texas met in the state’s capitol Friday to discuss policy being considered during the 85th Texas Legislature.

As reported by KVUE-TV, the mayors held a news conference after to discuss their concerns.

“You can’t have a healthy state without healthy cities, and we’re anxious to be working with the state to help achieve that,” Austin Mayor Steve Adler said.

Adler said Texas cities have each developed a formula for success and there is concern that formula is the target of some legislation.

“For the City of Galveston to contribute and to be a significant contributor to the State of Texas, we need the State of Texas to let us maintain our local liberties,” Galveston’s Mayor Pro Tem Terriln Tarlton-Shannon said.

The bill getting the most attention is Senate Bill 6, or the bathroom bill. The bill is viewed by opponents as discriminatory and several businesses and organizations say the state will lose money if passed, especially in tourism.

There’s also Senate Bill 2, which would would reduce the amount cities can increase property taxes without calling an election. Cities use the money from property taxes to fund parks, libraries and other city services, mainly fire, police and EMS services.

The mayors said cities should be left to cultivate their own community values and be left to do what they do best. They also said they look forward to working with lawmakers in the coming months.