Proposed Law Would Protect Businesses, Employees From Harmful Local Mandates - Texas Scorecard

A proposed state law could help local businesses and employees struggling in the wake of government-mandated shutdowns.

On Tuesday, State Sen. Donna Campbell (R–New Braunfels) introduced the Texas Small Business Protection Act, a proposed law that would stop local governments from forcing job-killing orders on businesses.

Specifically, the law would prohibit local government officials, such as the county or city, from dictating to which specific benefits businesses should give employees.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many of our small businesses disproportionate levels of financial suffering and closures,” said Campbell in a press release, citing how the Texas Restaurant Association reports more than 10,000 restaurants have closed permanently.

“While many private businesses have the financial ability to provide additional employee benefits, others are scraping every last penny to keep their employees on their payroll,” she added.

The proposal comes after Democrat-run city governments such as Austin and Dallas tried to mandate paid sick leave for nearly all businesses. Such orders have been proven to cut employees’ hours and pay, raise prices, and even cause layoffs.

Forcing every business to give a paid sick leave benefit may seem fine at first, but studies have revealed a government sick leave mandate is actually a harmful way to address the problem—much like setting your couch on fire to heat your home.

“A one-size-fits-all government mandate on employee benefits is cost-prohibitive on some small businesses, especially in a difficult economic climate, harming job prospects for the very people these local government ordinances claim to be helping,” Campbell concluded.

The Texas Legislature is currently in session, and concerned citizens can contact their state representatives and senator.