September 7 , 2018

Inside this edition of Capitol Roundup:
 
Rep. Four Price becomes seventh House member to declare bid for Speaker

State appeals court halts progress of Austin paid sick leave ordinance after San Antonio passes a similar measure

Runoff election date set for Gallego/Flores race for Senate District 19

Former AGC-TBB President Mike Chatron to throw out honorary first pitch at St. Louis Cardinals baseball game

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Quote of the Week

"You're breaking new ground in new places. You have to go out there and still play and coach and do the things you have to do. You have butterflies no matter how long you're anywhere. It's just part of the game."

-Jimbo Fisher
Texas A&M football coach Jimbo Fisher made the remarks following his debut as the Aggies head coach on Aug. 30. The Aggies beat the Northwestern State Demons 59-7 in College Station. Find the post-game interview here
Price files for Texas House Speaker, becoming seventh candidate in race

Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo) threw his hat in the ring Thursday to replace outgoing House Speaker Joe Straus (R-San Antonio).

Rep. Four Price (R-Amarillo)
Price joins a list of five other GOP House members seeking to become the third Republican to preside over the 150-member body since Democrats lost control of the chamber in 2003. 

The other Republican candidates include:  Tan Parker of Flower Mound, Phil King of Weatherford, John Zerwas of Richmond, Travis Clardy of Nacogdoches, and Drew Darby of San Angelo.  Eric Johnson of Dallas is the sole Democrat in the race.

"Having successfully worked for the last four sessions with my colleagues from across our state to pass major legislation and focus on issues of importance to all Texans, I am eager to seek this leadership position in the Texas House of Representatives," Price said in a statement.  "Looking towards the future, I truly believe the Texas House will play a leading role in making the decisions that keep Texas on the path to prosperity."

Price, a 50-year-old attorney, is currently in his fourth term representing House District 87 and chairs the Public Health Committee as well a select committee on opioids and substance abuse.  He also co-chairs the Oversight Committee on Health & Human Services Transition.  He's also a member of the natural resources and general investigating and ethics committees.

Before the next general session begins in 2019, House Republicans have agreed to select a speaker in their caucus and vote as a united bloc in January.  Some House Republicans have signed their name to a vow to support the caucus pick.  Parker, Price and King  signed the form, while Zerwas, Clardy and Darby have not.
San Antonio passes paid sick leave, while court halts similar measure in Austin; Workman aims for legislation

The day after proponents cheered San Antonio's newly passed mandatory paid sick leave ordinance, opponents of the idea declared victory in Austin, where a state appeals court put a hold on the capital city's version, which passed in February.

The Austin ordinance was set to take effect Oct. 1 of this year, but the court temporarily blocked the measure to give attorneys time to present arguments.  Opponents argue the ordinance violates the Texas Minimum Wage Act, which prohibits cities from requiring employers to pay minimum wages above federal standards.

State Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin) has stood staunchly against the sick leave mandates, and following the court's decision he reaffirmed his intent to sponsor legislation to reverse measures like the ones passed in Austin and San Antonio. 
Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin)

"It only makes me more determined to do it," Workman told the Austin American-Statesman.  "I predicted this would happen, and it has.  Dallas has tried, and San Antonio has now done it, so we will be there as soon as possible to keep other cities from doing that."

Workman has begun speaking to other House lawmakers about co-sponsoring legislation and said a companion bill will be filed in the Senate as well. 
 
Friday's ruling in Austin did not strike down the ordinance, and judges made no decision on the merits of the law. A separate trial court previously ruled in favor of the city.  The appeals court gave Austin city attorneys until Sept. 6 to submit arguments. 

The Austin mandate would apply to any non-union eligible employee working within the city limits, regardless of where the employer is headquartered, its size, or how many workers are employed.   The ordinance would require many businesses  to offer 64 hours of sick time each year. Businesses with 15 or fewer employees would be required to offer 48 hours of paid sick leave.

The San Antonio measure mirrors Austin's ordinance.   It requires employers in the city to provide one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours worked, capped at six or eight days annually depending on the size of the business. It would also allow parents to take time off to care for sick children.  It's estimated that about 350,000 workers in the city do not currently have paid sick leave. 
Abbott sets date for Gallego/Flores runoff election

Pete Gallego and Pete Flores will square off Sept. 18 in a runoff election to determine who replace former Sen. Carlos Uresti in San Antonio's Senate District 19.  Early voting runs Sept. 10-14. 

Flores,  a retired state game warden, and  Gallego, a former state and U.S. representative, emerged from a July 31 special election with the top two vote tallies, but neither garnered enough support to avoid a runoff.  Flores finished with 34.3 percent of votes over Gallego's 28.9 percent in that eight-candidate race.

Abbott announced the runoff election date after Gallego beat a legal challenge from the Texas Republican Party claiming Gallego did not reside within Senate District 19.  A state judge in Travis County denied the GOP request to issue a temporary restraining order to stop the Secretary of State from certifying candidates in the race. 

The special election was spurred in June when Carlos Uresti  resigned after being found guilty earlier this year of 11 felonies related to fraud and money laundering.  Uresti was sentenced to 12 years in prison.
Special Announcement: 

Former AGC-TBB President Mike Chatron to throw out honorary first pitch at major league baseball game

In honor of Mike's service to AGC-TBB, and in memory of his daughter Kate (1989-2000), Mike will be throwing out the  first   pitch  before the St. Louis Cardinals (Mike's favorite team) take on the Los Angeles Dodgers at Busch Stadium on Saturday, September 15th at noon.

As many of you know, Mike and his wife, Barb, are Missouri natives and lifelong Cardinals fans.  Mike will have 45 of his extended family and friends in attendance in one of the suites, including all of their children and grandchildren.
 
AGC-TBB welcomes all of you to extend our sincerest gratitude to Mike for his many years of service in Austin.  Special thanks go to McCarthy's Houston Division President Jim Stevenson, McCarthy's Central Division President John Buescher, and St Louis Cardinals owner Bill DeWitt, Jr.  It took a lot of help to make this happen!  Go, Birds!

September 2018
21 - AGC TBB Board Meeting - Austin AGC Office

October 2018
22 - Early Voting begins for Nov. 6 elections

November 2018
6 - Election Day
16 - AGC TBB Board Meeting - Austin AGC Office

January 2019
8 - First Day of 86th Legislature

May 2019
27 - Last Day of 86th Legislature