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2015-01-22

My View - Cowboy Capital redux

By JD Sheffield, OD

By JD Sheffield, OD
State Representative
House District 59

(Editor's note: Dr. JD Sheffield is a family practice physician first elected to the Texas Legislature in 2012. District 59 is comprised of eight counties - Comanche, Coryell, Erath, Hamilton, McCulloch, Mills, San Saba, and Somervell.)

Understandably, there is a desire for local media outlets to promote tourism in their community. On Jan. 8, the Bandera Courier featured an article claiming Bandera as the "Cowboy Capital of the World."
Senate Resolution 769 (Enrolled April 29, 2013) and House Resolution 2595 (Enrolled May 29, 2013) passed during the 83rd Legislative Session make no such designation. First, the Texas Legislature does not have the authority to designate a city "of the world"- only state designations may be made by the Texas Legislature.
In order to designate a "Texas Capital City," passage of a concurrent resolution by both houses of the legislature is required. HR 2595 and SR 769 were separate simple resolutions; Bandera cannot even claim a state designation, much less a federal - or global - designation.
House Resolution 2595 features past, yet unofficial, claims of Bandera as the "Cowboy Capital of the World" as part of background information to give readers of the resolution a sense of the community's heritage.
According to the Texas House of Representatives Parliamentarian's Office, this resolution acknowledges the claims, but does not confirm or add to them. The last paragraph of the resolution contains this legislative acknowledgement: "RESOLVED, that the House of Representatives of the 83rd Texas Legislature hereby recognize the rich history of Bandera and pay tribute to its citizens' many contributions to the Lone Star State." The title of the resolution coincides with the resolve "to recognize the rich history of Bandera." In order to designate Bandera as a "Texas Capital City," the title of the resolution would need to reflect the designation in addition to the requirement that the legislative act be a concurrent resolution.
It is also important to note that the previously passed legislative resolutions are not bills. Once passed, resolutions - known as simple resolutions - do not have the force of law. They recognize accomplishments, memorialize individuals and commemorate special events. A resolution cannot force anyone to act in a certain manner, such as prohibiting the use of the slogan "Cowboy Capital of the World."
I am proud to represent the City of Stephenville and its many contributions to western culture and the cowboy way of life, qualities that are found across our great State of Texas.