What is the difference between General Law and Home Rule city?

Texas cities operate under two categories of local government, General Law and Home Rule. 

 General Law - a city whose powers are limited by the specific authority granted by Texas statues. General Law cities are restricted to doing what state statues direct or permit them to do. A specific grant of authority or permission must be provided in the state statutes to initiate a particular action. If a General Law city is not granted the express or implied power by the State to initiate a particular action, none can be taken. General Law cities are generally smaller and under 5,000 in population.

 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.

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1. What is Home Rule?
2. What is a city charter?
3. What is the difference between General Law and Home Rule city?
4. How is a Home Rule Charter adopted?
5. What are some typical matters included in a Home Rule Charter?
6. What are some other distinctions between a General Law and a Home Rule city?
7. How has the public been involved in the Home Rule Charter process?
8. Why vote in the Alvarado Home Rule Charter election?