The City of San Antonio has said that its main goal in the upcoming Legislature is to try to kill bills that would limit local control and local decision making. But News Radio 1200 WOAI reports that job just got a lot harder, and San Antonio City Council has only itself to blame.
One of the first bills introduced for the 2019 session on Monday would overturn Council's decision to mandate local employer pay sick leave benefits to their employees. Now, Jeff Moseley, President of the Texas Association of Business, says that is just the beginning, and his organization plans to champion a series of measures that would essentially eliminate the ability of the City of San Antonio to regulate any part of the relationship between employer and employee.
"We're going to be looking at bills that will really address any question statewide on what cities' role should be and should not be in making any demand on a business to provide a benefit," Moseley told News Radio 1200 WOAI.
Many small business owners told 1200 WOAI news that the ordinance passed by City Council, following a petition drive by labor and activist groups, used 'the blunt force of government' to burden them with mandates which would end up being more expensive than paying the sick leave itself. They complained about provisions to allow City officials to examine their financial records, and the threat of large financial penalties.
Many employers said they would be forced to cut back on raises for employees due to the new mandates, damaging the very people the labor and activist groups thought they were helping.
"Now that there is a shortage of skilled workers, we know that employers are being very competitive in the benefits that they offer," Moseley said.
City Hall sources told News Radio 1200 WOAI the decision was made to approve the mandatory sick leave measure rather than put it up for a vote at last week's election, because officials were afraid that supporters would come to the polls to support the sick leave proposal, and would also vote in support of the three charter amendments that would blunt the authority of government. Two of the three passed anyway.