March 1 , 2019

Inside this edition of Capitol Roundup:

AGC members from across Texas united at the Capitol for Legislative Day

Legislation that would block paid sick leave ordinances passes its first test in the Senate

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Quote of the Week

"In the House, we recognize that we're going to be the adults in the room.  We're going to come up with pragmatic and thoughtful policy, and we won't react to the artificial deadlines set by the Senate."

- Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer
State Rep. Trey Martinez-Fischer made the comment after a Senate committee on property tax reform passed SB 2, which is a bill to require local governments to seek voter approval when property tax revenue grows at a rate greater than 2.5 percent. Martinez Fischer (D-San Antonio), a member of the House committee working on a similar measure, argued that the the Senate should debate the measure further and allow time for a school finance reform bill to surface since the issues go hand in hand. 
Thank you to all who made our 2019 Legislative Day a success!

Thank you to all who helped make Legislative Day a success this year, and thank you to all of our members who donated their time and effort to ensure your interests are strongly represented in Austin. We're proud of you for making your voices heard!

Below are a few photos of AGC members meeting with state lawmakers at the Capitol to discuss issues affecting contractors across Texas. 

Senate committee passes bill to prevent paid sick leave ordinances

A bill that would prevent local governments from regulating how private companies dole out benefits - including paid sick leave - to employees was passed by members of the Senate State Affairs Committee on Thursday.

The measure, which advanced on a 5-1 vote from the nine-member panel, carries support from Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, and it can now be taken up by the full Senate. Advocates for Senate Bill 15 have argued that the state, not cities and counties, should oversee private employment regulations and that businesses should be able to decide on their own what is best for their employees. 

"Senate Bill 15 provides consistency across the state to help businesses continue to grow and to keep patchwork laws that can change in a matter of miles from being put into place," the bill's chief sponsor Rep. Brandon Creighton (R-Conroe) said. 

On Thursday, much of the committee debate centered around the most recent amendment to the bill, which removed language that specified the bill wouldn't affect laws passed to protect people from employment discrimination. Creighton informed the committee that  the amendment was intended to clarify some confusion around the bill. Advocates for minority groups expressed concern over the amendment, arguing that the new version could have discriminatory ripple effects for minority groups. 

Supporters of the bill primarily see it as a necessary measure to protect businesses across the state, while many in opposition view the issue through a public health lens. The sides of the debate have been staked out since last year when an ordinance in Austin was passed that required private employers in city limits to offer paid time off for sick employees. That measure is currently held up in a court challenge, while a similar ordinance in San Antonio is set to take effect in August. 

The bill is the first measure passed out of a Senate committee this session that is not one of Abbott's "emergency items," but the governor and other Republicans have been vocal in their support for the bill. Attorney General  Ken Paxton is also against mandated paid sick leave and has argued that only the state could enact that kind of legislation. 
Click here to see the text of SB 15. 
April 2019
FRI 26th - TBB Board meeting
May 2019
MON 27th - Last Day of 86th Legislature
June 2019
WED 5th - SAT 8th - Convention @ Jackson Hole, WY
August 2019
THU 22nd - OCA awards @ Georgetown, TX
FRI 23rd - Board meeting
November 2019
FRI 15th - Board meeting