AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — As Texas’ big cities boom like few places in the U.S., Republican Gov. Greg Abbott is trying to rein them in and reassert himself ahead of his 2018 re-election bid, but some of his summer demands are wilting.
That includes a “bathroom bill” targeting transgender people that by Saturday was all but dead in Texas for the second time this year. For Abbott, who is out to satisfy his restless base of social conservatives, a special 30-day legislative session that began with him demanding 20 new laws could end next week with many failing.
It also deepened a rift between Republican leaders and Texas’ biggest and most economically vibrant cities — Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin — which felt under attack by an agenda heavy on curbing municipal authority. Similar power struggles between cities and states are increasingly playing out nationwide as GOP governors take aim at liberal urban areas where Democrats wield most influence.
On Saturday, the Republican-controlled House was poised to push one measure closer to Abbott’s desk to the dismay of cities: Requiring local officials to get voter approval for tax hikes above a certain threshold, which mayors say would hamper their ability to keep…