KPFT 90.1 FM Correspondent Richard Hanna interviewed Hany Khalil, Executive Director of the Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation of the AFL CIO and Chair of New Economy for Workers Houston, about the bills that harm blue cities.
Richard Hanna interviews Hany Khalil on HB 2127
The Republicans continue to encroach on our freedoms. Now they are after blue cities. The Texas Tribune reported the following.
In a major escalation of Republicans’ efforts to weaken the state’s bluer cities and counties, lawmakers in the Texas Legislature are advancing a pair of bills that would seize control of local regulations that could range from worker protections to water restrictions during droughts.
A bill backed by Gov. Greg Abbott and business lobbying groups, House Bill 2127, would bar cities and counties from passing regulations — and overturn existing ones — that go further than state law in a broad swath of areas including labor, agriculture, natural resources and finance. It passed the Texas House by a 92-56 vote Wednesday after clearing an initial vote the previous day.
The bill’s backers argue it’s needed to combat what they call a growing patchwork of local regulations that make it difficult for business owners to operate and harm the state’s economy. Texas’ economic growth and jobs are overwhelmingly concentrated in the state’s urban areas.
“We want those small-business owners creating new jobs and providing for their families, not trying to navigate a byzantine array of local regulations that twist and turn every time” they cross city limits, said state Rep. Dustin Burrows, the Lubbock Republican carrying the bill in the House.
HB 2127 is one of several bills that Republicans filed this session to prevent cities and counties from enacting new progressive policies. For example, the bill would block local ordinances designed to provide more benefits to workers such as mandatory paid sick leave — though the state’s courts have already halted such city rules — and eliminate mandated water breaks for construction workers in Austin and Dallas.
KPFT 90.1 FM Correspondent Hanna interviewed Hany Khalil, Executive Director of the Texas Gulf Coast Area Labor Federation of the AFL CIO and Chair of New Economy for Workers Houston, about the bills.