September 21 , 2018

Inside this edition of Capitol Roundup:
 
VIDEO: Watch outgoing AGC-TBB President Mike Chatron's first pitch at Busch Stadium

Pete Flores wins Senate District 19 seat in upset against Pete Gallego

Austin city attorneys appeal court's ruling that blocked the city's paid sick leave law

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Quote of the Week

Today, education dollars are needed in our classrooms more than ever. Texas public school funding will be a hotly debated issue in the upcoming session of the Texas Legislature...This request is no less than a demand for the State Board of Education to be bailed out by the School Land Board."

-Texas Land Commissioner George P. Bush
The statements came from Bush's office in recent days as the State Board of Education has requested more school funding from a fund operated by Bush.  The conflict stems from a recent decision by the School Land Board - housed within the General Land Office and partly managed by Bush - to stop payments to the Permanent School Fund from revenue the agency derives from mineral interests on public lands. Instead, the land board decided to place $600 million, the most allowed by law, into another fund called the Available School Fund and invest an additional $55 million. Opponents argue the move could result in a $140 million cut to school funding this legislative session. 
Chatron hurls first-pitch strike at Busch Stadium to commemorate 25 years at AGC Texas Building Branch 

Mike Chatron's First Pitch
Mike Chatron's First Pitch

Recently retired AGC-TBB President Mike Chatron threw out the  first   pitch  at Busch Stadium on Sept. 15 before the St. Louis Cardinals faced the Los Angeles Dodgers. The pitch commemorated Mike's retirement after working at AGC Texas Building Branch for 25 years and serving as president since 2008.

Mike had the honor of joining his family on the field before the game, while 45 members of his extended family and friends watched from a suite. Mike, a lifelong Birds fan, dedicated the first pitch to his service at AGC-TBB and to his daughter Kate (1989-2000). 
 
While the Cardinals likely would have fared much better had Mike remained in the game (the Dodgers won 17-4), Mike and his family cherished the incredible experience. Thank you, Mike, for your many years of service in Austin! You will be missed!

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., for helping make this awesome event possible.
Flores upsets Gallego in Senate District 19 runoff election

Democrat Pete Gallego conceded Tuesday night to his Republican opponent Pete Flores in a runoff election for the traditionally-Democratic Senate seat in San Antonio.

As the first Hispanic Republican to serve in the Texas Senate, Flores enters the upper chamber of the Legislature coming off a strong 6-point victory in San Antonio. Flores  replaces former Sen. Carlos Uresti in Senate District 19 after Uresti was found guilty of 11 felonies, including fraud and money laundering. Flores will finish Uresti's term, which ends in 2021

While Flores,  a retired state game warden, had failed to gain 50 percent of the vote in the July 31 special election, he finished Tuesday with 53 percent of ballots. Flores had the backing of the state's top-ranking Republicans, including Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who introduced Flores at his election victory party. 

"I owe this first to God and then to the grassroots in all of our counties in Senate District 19," Flores said after the win. "Primarily this is an example of what happens when you have a united front and a grassroots effort. So now it's time to go to work."

Senate District 19 spans hundreds of miles from San Antonio's east side to far West Texas along the Mexican border. The Republican victory extends the Senate GOP majority to 21 members, as the GOP enters the November elections seeking to shield its supermajority with as many as three Republican seats in play. Currently, Senate Republicans need 19 members (3/5 majority) to bring legislation to the floor without Democratic support.
Austin city attorneys appeal court ruling that blocked paid sick leave

Austin city attorneys have appealed the state appeals court ruling that halted Austin's recently passed paid sick leave ordinance earlier this month. 

The state court ruling put a temporary stop to the law, which passed in February and was intended to take affect Oct. 1 of this year. O n Tuesday, Joya Hayes, Austin's human resources director,  released a memo detailing the city's approach to the law's implementation. 

City employees will see the ordinance enacted as part of their benefit package on the intended date, Hayes said, but her office plans to contact external business chambers and professional organizations to postpone any scheduled presentations. Hayes said her office also planned to block any media advertising of the ordinance's implementation. City departments will keep any forms and educational information on the city's website "in order to be ready to immediately continue with our plan once the temporary delay is lifted," Hayes said. 

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.

Opponents argue the ordinance violates the  Texas Minimum Wage Act, which prohibits cities from requiring employers to pay minimum wages above federal standards.

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