By Mary Sue Molnar, Texas Voices E.D.
Every legislative session, we find ourselves on the defensive –trying to kill bills that were filed with the intent to increase and allow more and more residency restrictions to be imposed on people who are required to register. Next session will be no different, and we have already been informed that certain legislators will once again file and/or support these types of bills.
After careful consideration by our Texas Voices Board members and advisers, we have decided to address this issue, start the discussion, and make it known that we, as an organization, are serious in our opposition to residency restrictions.
Here in Texas, cities with a population of under 5000 are classified as General Law cities. These cities have no authority under Texas law to impose residency restriction ordinances. 46 General Law cities who have indeed enacted these restrictions have been identified.
Challenging these General Law cities will likely cause a stir at the Capitol and prompt certain legislators and small town officials to work harder next session to insure that residency restriction bills gain more traction. However, it is our opinion that these same people will work harder for these type of bills regardless.
By the way, the Lewisville Lawsuit is still making its way through the Federal Court system and we are hoping for a favorable decision in the end. Additionally, courts throughout the United States are increasingly finding residency restrictions to be unconstitutional.
There is hope……….but we must continue the fight.
This press release was issued November 9, 2015:
Caught Red Handed: 46 Texas Cities Breaking the Law!
Texas Voices for Reason and Justice (“TVRJ”) has initiated action to compel, through litigation if necessary, the repeal of local ordinances enacted by certain small Texas cities which purport to regulate where “registered sex offenders” may reside. TVRJ has determined that the challenged ordinances have been enacted in
at least 46 Texas cities having populations of less than 5,000 residents. As determined in a 2007 legal opinion authored by then-Texas attorney General Greg Abbott, Article 11, Section 4 of the Texas Constitution prohibits “general law” cities in Texas (which have a population of less than 5,000 residents) from
enacting local ordinances that regulate where people who are required to register may live. An attorney for Texas Voices, Richard Gladden of Denton, Texas, has notified each of the identified 46 “general law” cities that Texas Voices, on behalf
of its members, will file suit within 40 days to have the local ordinances declared unconstitutional under Texas law unless the ordinances are immediately repealed by the cities involved.
Read the rest of the press release here. T V PRESS RELEASE