TCAA, in conjunction with the Texas Municipal League, files amicus briefs and comments in support of cities on many issues. To keep up to date on the status of these issues, go to https://www.tml.org/p/AmicusBriefUpdate_021418.pdf.
Federal Water Infrastructure Loans: City of Cibolo v. Green Valley Special Utility District, No. 17-938 in the Supreme Court of the United States. Together with the Texas City Attorneys Association, National League of Cities, and International Municipal Lawyers Association, TML filed an amicus brief urging the Court to grant the City of Cibolo’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari to resolve the split between the Fifth and Eighth circuits in interpreting 7 U.S.C. § 1926(b), the federal statute protecting water and wastewater development in rural areas. The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals concluded that Section 1926(b) protection of a rural association is not limited to the service for which the association is indebted to the federal government. The court extended the protection to any other service provided or that could be provided, even if that service is not financed through loans by the Department of Agriculture.
In contrast, the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals has concluded that only the service funded by a federal loan is protected under Section 1926(b). In the brief, amici seek clarity from the Court on this issue, which impacts cities’ ability to provide services intended to expand development in rural areas. Amici argue that the Fifth Circuit’s broad interpretation of Section 1926(b), particularly if developed elsewhere, would hinder rural development, deprive citizens of necessary and basic low-cost services, and place cities at a competitive disadvantage. The brief was filed on January 29, 2018.