Recent Texas Attorney General Opinions of Interest to Cities

Note:  Included opinions are from May 11, 2020 through June 10, 2020.

KP-0311 (City Streets): A county may call a bond election under Texas Constitution Article III, Section 52(b) or (c) and expend bond funds for the construction, repair, improvement, and maintenance of city streets if the county has municipal consent and determines that the city streets are an integral part of or a connecting link to a county road or a state highway. Having satisfied those requirements, a county need not buy the roads and the city need not disincorporate in order for the county to expend bond proceeds on such city streets.

KP-0310 (Union Dues Check-Off): Public employers must ensure that employee consent to a payroll deduction for membership fees or dues in a union or employee organization is collected in a way that ensures voluntariness, such as requiring direct provision of authorization from an employee to an employer. A one-time, perpetual consent to a payroll deduction for membership fees or dues is inconsistent with the U.S. Supreme Court’s holding in Janus v. American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees; however, consent for one year from the time given is likely valid and is sufficiently contemporaneous to be constitutional.

KP-0309 (Dams): Without evidence in the statutes of the legislature’s clear and unmistakable intent to preempt all local ordinances affecting dams, a court would likely conclude that a local regulation (a municipal development ordinance being applied to a water control and improvement district’s construction and maintenance of dams) will be invalid only to the extent inconsistent with a state regulation.