Texas Attorney General today filed a plea in intervention in Pulliam, et. al. v. City of Austin, et. al., a lawsuit filed by the Texas Public Policy Foundation (TPPF) and Goldwater Institute challenging the City’s labor agreement with Austin Firefighters Association, Local 975. The lawsuit, filed last month, seeks to halt the practice of “release time” also known as “association business leave,” and “union leave,” which assigns city employees to work for the union at taxpayer expense. The agreement violates the Texas Constitution “gift clause” provision that prohibits government from giving taxpayer funds to private entities without a public purpose.
TPPF General Counsel and Director of the Center for the American Future Robert Henneke said, “The City of Austin’s illegal release time agreement with the firefighters’ union hurts all citizens. By choosing to fund private political activities, the City diverts these resources from public safety services for Austin residents. As this practice negatively impacts the public as a whole, Plaintiffs applaud the Attorney General to intervene in order to represent the interests of all Texans.”
“The Attorney General is charged with ensuring that state and local laws are constitutional,” said Jonathan Riches, Director of National Litigation and General Counsel for the Goldwater Institute. “We are delighted that the Attorney General has joined this action to challenge a practice that is not only bad public policy, but violates Texas’s Constitution.”
For more information and to view the lawsuit, please visit: http://txpo.li/pulliam-v-city-of-austin
The Honorable Robert Henneke is General Counsel and Director of the Foundation’s Center for the American Future.
Jon Riches is Director of National Litigation and General Counsel for the Goldwater Institute.
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The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin, Texas.