HOUSTON — The City of Houston won a legal battle Wednesday over the so-called "Death Star" law that was passed during the legislative session and signed by Gov. Greg Abbott. It was scheduled to take effect on Sept. 1.
A district judge in Travis County granted a motion by the City of Houston and declared House Bill 2127 unconstitutional.
Editor's note: The above video originally aired in July when the City of Houston's lawsuit was filed.
The City filed a lawsuit last month that said the law, formally known as the Texas Regulatory Consistency Act, drastically limits what cities and counties can do with a one-size-fits-all approach.
"The Texas Constitution expressly champions the local control and innovation that has been key to the tremendous economic dynamism in cities like Houston,” Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner said when the lawsuit was filed in July. “HB 2127 reverses over 100 years of Texas constitutional law without amending the Constitution.”
During Wednesday's hearing, City of Houston attorneys argued HB 2127 is too vague to enforce and goes against the city's constitutional right to self-govern.
The legislation made national headlines earlier this year because it takes away local rules mandating water breaks for construction workers. Abbott released a statement saying that the bill was consistent with OSHA and didn’t stop people from taking water breaks.
The state's lawyers laid out several past cases where pre-emption was allowed.
During the hearing, the governor tweeted, "I signed HB2127 to cut red tape & help businesses thrive."
The bill's author, Republican Representative Dustin Burrows of Lubbock, tweeted, in part, quote, "The Texas Supreme Court will ultimately rule this law to be completely valid. The ruling today has no legal effect or precedent."
City Attorney Arturo Michel says the law will still be on the books Friday but he and the mayor believe it won't be enforceable while an appeals process plays out.
Adam Bennett is the only Houston television news reporter in Austin for the hearing and he will have more on 11 News at 6 p.m.
You can read the full lawsuit here.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner talked about the lawsuit: