AG Opinions and Requests

November 02, 2018

Legislative News

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TAC has highlighted recent Attorney General Opinions and Requests for Opinions of interest to counties.

Attorney General Opinions

KP-0219 The authority of Texas counties to pursue housing programs in specific circumstances (RQ-0220-KP) Summary: Although a county may not expend public funds to solely benefit a private interest, a county may make an expenditure to assist a homeowner to make repairs or subsidize the construction of single or multi-family housing when the expenditure serves a predominantly public purpose of the county. Whether a particular expenditure serves a predominately public purpose of the county is for the commissioners court to make in the first instance, subject to judicial review.

Section 381.003 of the Local Government Code authorizes housing programs that qualify under federal law as community and economic development programs or housing and community development programs, which generally address the housing needs of persons with low and moderate income.

KP-0221 Whether a municipality with authority to adopt and enforce land regulations near a military base pursuant to section 43.0117 of the Local Government Code may impose fees and fines under that authority, and whether the City of San Antonio’s proposed annexation ballot language meets the requirements of state law (RQ-0246-KP) Summary: A court would likely conclude that a municipality acting under Local Government Code subsection 43.0117(b) may impose fines and penalties that are adopted under and enforce an ordinance adopted pursuant to that subsection provided the ordinance is consistent with the most recent joint land use study.

A court would likely conclude that the ballot language adopted by the City of San Antonio's resolution calling the election under subsection 43.0ll 7(b) is sufficient under Texas Supreme Court precedent.

Election Code section 65.009 provides that a vote for a measure shall be counted if the voter's intent is clearly ascertainable. The City's plan to count ballots voting for both propositions or left blank as a vote in favor of Option 2 is contrary to this provision because such ballots do not indicate a clearly ascertainable intent for Option 2.

Requests for Attorney General Opinions

RQ-0253-KP: The Honorable Rod Ponton, Presidio County Attorney, Competitive bidding requirements applied to municipal airport operation.