Bill to Overturn San Antonio's Mandatory Sick Leave Law Apparently Dead

One of the bills that was not added to the House debate calendar in this final week of the session was the measure that would have overturned mandatory sick leave ordinances in San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Several business organizations say the reason the House declined to take up the measure was Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick declined to approve a House amendment that would have removed protections from LGBTQ workers from the bill.

The so called 'pre-emption legislation' was sailing through the Legislature, with Republicans generally agreed that local governments should not mandate their own hours of operation, pay, and benefits for private employers in their communities, afraid that would lead to a confusing patchwork of laws where workers in San Antonio get one benefit and workers across the street in Leon Valley get completely different benefits.

But there were concerns that 'Non Discrimination Ordinances' also amounted to infringement on private employers and would be overturned by the sick leave bill.

So lawmakers of both parties in the House and the Senate approved adding language which specifically protected NDOs from being affected by the bill.

But several lawmakers say that the reluctance of Patrick, who is a prominent social conservative, to remove the language prompted the Texas House to shelve the bill.

The Texas Federation of Independent Business immediately called on Gov. Abbott to declare a special session and place this item on the agenda.

San Antonio's mandatory sick leave law, which was approved following a petition drive by labor groups, is set to take effect August 1.

There are concerns that it will hurt the very people the law's supporters think it will help, by forcing layoffs, cutbacks, and discouraging small businesses from expanding.

There is a legal challenge to the ordinances in the three cities, which are identical, and a state appeals court has already overturned Austin's mandatory sick leave law.


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