What is Home Rule?

Home Rule is the privilege of citizens at the grass roots level to manage their own affairs with minimal interference from the State.  Home Rule assumes that government issues should be solved at the level closest to the people.  “Local self-government is the cornerstone of democratic government.”[1]

The Citizens of Sunnyvale voted to become Home Rule in May, 2013.

Home Rule - cities with a population over 5,000 in which the citizens have adopted a home rule charter to define the structure, power, duties, and authority of their local government.  The legal position of Home Rule cities is the reverse of General Law cities.  Rather than looking to state statutes to determine what they may do, as General Law cities must do, Home Rule cities look to their local Charters to determine what they may do.  A Home Rule city may generally take any action that is not prohibited by the Texas Constitution or statutes as long as the authority is granted in the Charter of the city.  Home Rule cities have the full power of self-government and may take any action in the interest of the citizens' health, safety and welfare that is not contrary to the Texas and U.S. Constitutions or federal or state laws.

[1] Frank Sturzl, Executive Director, Texas Municipal League

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1. What is Home Rule?
2. What is a City Charter?