Legislation to prohibit local governments from imposing job-killing mandates has passed the Texas Senate and is on its way to the Texas House.
Senate Bills 2486 and 2487 by State Sen. Brandon Creighton (R–Conroe) fight to rein in out-of-control local governments by restricting them from implementing their own policies regarding paid sick leave and employment benefits.
Creighton argued that an inconsistent patchwork of regulations from city to city makes it difficult for cities to attract new businesses and create jobs, adding that the proper authority for any such regulation is at the state level.
It’s an issue that came to the forefront last year, when the cities of San Antonio and Austin both passed ordinances requiring private businesses to provide paid sick leave to employees.
Both ordinances were successfully challenged in court by lawsuits led by the Texas Public Policy Foundation and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, who argued that paid time off policies are decisions to be left solely to the hands of the state legislature and not individual municipalities.
“The Austin City Council’s disdain and blatant disregard for the rule of law is an attempt to unlawfully and inappropriately usurp the authority of the state lawmakers chosen by Texas voters and must be stopped,” said Paxton at the time.
Originally filed as Senate Bill 15, the legislation was broken up into four separate bills by Creighton in order to get past the objections of Democrats and State Sen. Kel Seliger (R–Amarillo), who took issue with a provision to override local nondiscrimination ordinances.
Two additional bills to prevent local governments from scheduling mandates and prohibiting criminal background checks for condition of employment are also on the Senate intent calendar.