The ordinance making authority available to a General Law City is limited by the State Legislature. General Law Cities, so to speak, function as wards of the state. Once a city’s population exceeds 5,000, an election can be called and the citizens can vote for the city to become a Home Rule City. Such cities are governed by a charter and have much broader ordinance making authority. Once established, a city retains Home Rule status even should its population dip below 5,000.
The Constitutional provisions, codes and statutes which govern the actions of Texas municipalities can be accessed through this search engine . The Local Government Code and the Government Code affect more areas of municipal operations than do the other codes.