One minor surprise from this now-ended legislative session.
A conference committee Saturday voted to strip an amendment that would have blocked cities from regulating short-term rentals like Airbnb, all but killing the measure with less than two days left in the legislative session.
The move comes during a legislative session in which lawmakers have otherwise been willing to overrule local ordinances — including regulations for ride-hailing services.
Senate Bill 451 by state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, aimed to prevent Texas cities from banning short-term rentals and rein in their ability to write ordinances restricting the practice. Austin and Fort Worth are among the cities that have enacted such restrictions.
The Senate passed Hancock’s bill, but both SB 451 and a similar House bill languished in the House without receiving committee votes.
Hancock later tried to revive his bill by adding it as an amendment to House Bill 2445, a measure to regulate the use of the hotel occupancy taxes collected in each municipality. But the conference committee stripped it back out, and with the legislative session ending Monday, only extraordinary measures could revive it.
See here for the background. The Trib published that on Sunday, when there was still a theoretical chance the bill could be passed in some form, but it was not to be. I figured this bill would sail through in more or less the same fashion as the rideshare bill, but apparently not. Well, it took two sessions for a rideshare bill to pass, so maybe next time. I’m fine with it not passing, but I’ll be surprised if one never passes.