As the Legislature burns through hearings, two bills pertaining to short-term rentals are making their way through the committees. Public testimony for Senate Bill 451, filed by Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills, which would revoke all local STR laws unless they were specifically designed to protect public health and safety, was heard on March 14. Mayor Steve Adler testified against the bill, saying it would overturn Austin's regulations on STRs, including the city's slow phase-out of Type 2 "commercial" rentals – non-owner occupied houses rented out for less than 30 days. (City Council Member Ellen Troxclair testified in support.) The House companion bill, HB 2551, authored by Rep. Tan Parker, R-Flower Mound, was referred to the House Committee on Urban Affairs last Wednesday. Gov. Greg Abbott considers STR ordinances in Austin and Texas cities a prime example of his problems with local governments creating their own regulations. At a luncheon on Monday, the governor said that he believed the state should take a "rifle shot after rifle shot after rifle shot" approach "to try to override all these local regulations," according to a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.
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