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San Antonio Lawmakers Push Back at Governor by Filing Paid Sick Time Bills 

Texas Sen. Jose Menendez speaks to TV news crews outside the state capitol. - TWITTER / JOSE MENENDEZ
  • Twitter / Jose Menendez
  • Texas Sen. Jose Menendez speaks to TV news crews outside the state capitol.
The tussle in the Texas Legislature over paid sick time continues.

This week, two San Antonio lawmakers filed bills that would require employers across the state to offer paid sick leave for their workers. Sen. Jose Menéndez and Rep. Diego Bernal, both Democrats, introduced SB 1826 and HB 3728 respectively.

The proposals would allow employees to earn one hour of paid sick leave for every 30 hours of work. Those at small businesses with 15 or fewer employees would earn at least six paid sick days annually. Those at larger businesses would earn eight paid sick days over that time.

"Having a unified sick leave policy will address concerns for business that operate in different Texas cities," Menéndez said in a press statement. "The health of our employees is paramount, and it is good for business to have a program where employees get the sick leave they need."

A debate over whether municipalities should be allowed to mandate paid sick leave erupted this session after both San Antonio and Austin adopted policies last year. Gov. Greg Abbott and other Republican leaders have repeatedly attacked the ordinances as bad for business.

Abbott recently told a San Antonio business group that he supported SB 15, a bill that would prohibit municipalities from stipulating what benefits businesses are required to offer. However, that bill has faced sharp criticism from LGBTQ-rights groups since it also would essentially gut nondiscrimination ordinances such as the one San Antonio adopted in 2013.

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