- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 26, 2017

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The Texas Senate has voted to ban local tree-cutting ordinances, seeking to void existing rules in more than 50 cities statewide.

Wednesday’s 17-14 final approval sends the bill to the state House.

Gov. Greg Abbott has long opposed tree ordinances, which he’s called “socialistic” governmental overreach and confusingly inconsistent from one community to the other. Abbott made banning tree rules one of 20 issues he wants tackled during the 30-day special legislative session.

Abbott has previously complained publicly about wanting to cut down two trees to install a swimming pool on his Austin property before becoming governor. He claimed the city refused to let him do so, but records show he eventually succeeded.

Opponents accuse the Legislature of ignoring local officials, who may know better how to govern their communities.

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