This roundup of Dallas news includes some local news and some state news. An ethics complaint has been filed against the mayor of Dallas. A new reservoir is filling up the first major reservoir in the state of Texas in nearly 30 years. Meanwhile, Texas legislators are busy approving bills that would add restrictions on voting and restrictions on abortions.
Here's what happened around Dallas this week:
An ethics complaint has been filed against Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson, for endorsing a city council candidate in the May 1 election. According to Reform Dallas, the complaint was submitted by Barry Jacobs, a retired attorney, who noted that the Dallas Code of Ethics prohibits city officials, including elected officials, from using their city titles when making political endorsements.
Johnson endorsed Donald Parish, a candidate for City Council from District 7, in a tweet and mentioned his title as mayor.
The complaint goes to the Ethics Advisory Commission, who will determine if a violation has occurred. If yes, sanctions can included a mildly worded letter, ethics training, or removal from office.
The Texas House approved a bill with numerous voting restrictions including making it a felony to provide voters with an application to vote by mail if they haven't requested one, and using public funds to facilitate the third-party distribution of mail-in voting applications.
Numerous states run by Republicans are adding restrictions following the November 2020 election including Florida.
A number of major corporations with offices in Texas including American Airlines and Dell Technologies have criticized these bills.
The bill still needs a second House vote and then will head back to the Senate, whose version restricted early voting, extended hours, and drive-thru voting.
Abortion restriction bill
A so-called "heartbeat bill" has been passed by the Texas House that will severely restrict access to abortions. Abbott’s celebrated that SB 8, which is being spearheaded by lead sponsor and Republican state Rep. Shelby Slawson, is “one step closer” to becoming law after the House passed it a day earlier. The House voted 81-63 in favor of the legislation.
The bill would forbid abortions starting at the point when a heartbeat can be detected. It also makes it possible for lawsuits to be filed against abortion providers and those who help others get an abortion.
According to the ACLU, Texas is already one of the most difficult states in the country to get an abortion.
Construction is almost finished of a reservoir called Bois d'Arc Lake, which would provide water to northern parts of Collin County.
Pronounced "bo-dark," the Bois d'Arc Lake is located in Fannin County, an hour northeast of McKinney and has been more than a decade in the works. It includes a two-mile-long dam and covers roughly 26-square miles. The gates were closed in April which allowed the lake to begin to fill up.
It's part of the North Texas Municipal Water District, which serves 1.8 million people in 80 cities across North Texas, a number that's projected to increase to 3.2 million by 2050. That does not include Dallas, which is served by the Dallas Water Utilities System.