AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation, which is challenging the city of Austin’s mandatory paid sick leave policy, supports the Texas Attorney General’s Office in cautioning San Antonio about a potential local paid sick leave ballot initiative.
“The Texas Attorney General’s office is correct in notifying the city of San Antonio that any paid sick leave ballot initiative violates Texas law,” said Rob Henneke, general counsel and director of the Center for the American Future at TPPF. “Through the Texas Minimum Wage Act, the Texas Legislature has already preempted the authority of cities like San Antonio, Austin, and Dallas from adopting this type of ordinance. Regardless if by council vote or ballot referendum, it violates Texas law for cities to do this. And, it is a waste of taxpayer resources for cities to hold an election on an illegal action. The city of San Antonio may keep this matter off the November ballot and should do so until after municipal power to adopt this type of regulation is addressed by the courts and legislature.”
In a letter to San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg and members of the city council, the attorney general’s office expressed concern about a petition submitted to the city clerk to place a municipal paid sick leave ordinance on the ballot. Under the city’s charter, the council must vote on whether to enact the ordinance as proposed. If it declines to do so, then the city must place the proposal on the ballot for voters to decide.
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The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit free-market research institute based in Austin. The Texas Public Policy Foundation aims to advance a societal framework that effectively fosters human flourishing based upon cooperation and mutually beneficial exchange of ideas and speech.