See below for a HillCo report on House Floor discussions and votes for House Bill 2127 on second and third reading.

This report is intended to give you an overview and highlight the discussions on the various topics taken up. It is not a verbatim transcript of the discussions but is based upon what was audible or understandable to the observer.

HB 2127 (Burrows / Meyer / Goldman / King, Ken / Raymond / et al.) Relating to state preemption of and the effect of certain state or federal law on certain municipal and county regulation.

  • Burrows – Directs local govs to forgo regulating things that are already regulated at the state level; helps local govs avoid pressure from activists to regulate & will help businesses operate across jurisdictions
    • Burrows – Home rule cities are a creation of the state, given limitations at creation that regulations could not conflict with state regulation
    • Have seen many regulations like paid sick leave, Dallas investment reporting for state contractors, fair chance hiring, etc.; other things coming from other states like pay transparency, salary history restrictions, predictive scheduling, eliminating at-will employment, etc.
    • Cities will retain a lot of power under bill, will still have full zoning on things like pawnbrokers, billboards, massage parlors, sexually-oriented businesses, etc.
  • Turner – Concerns have been raised about broad nature of bill, could be unintended consequences; if your bill passes, what is going to be preempted?
    • Burrows – 5 ordinances I laid out, have an FA for climate change ones from El Paso
    • Other will not be, authority remains in local gov code
  • Turner – Declawing cats, paid sick leave?
    • Dallas bank requirements
  • Turner – Everything preempted?
    • Host of things, these are the ones I want to talk about
  • Turner – Home rule cities have power of general law cities, how big are general law cities?
    • Added provision to satisfy concerns
  • Turner and Burrows discuss general law and home rule population limits
  • Turner – Home rule cities have different needs and challenges than a city of 2m
    • Burrows – Will still be home rule
  • Turner – Home rule cities put issues before voters, how does this bill affect ability of citizens to have voices heard?
    • Can still do that, unless we currently regulate it
  • Turner – So if cities need to address acute need, they’ll have to wait 18 months to address?
    • Don’t see that happening
  • Turner – Standing?
    • Currently have standing to sue; bill takes court ruling on waiver of immunity and codifies; have FA to limit venue to same county instead of contiguous county
  • Turner – Do you feel like your bill will have unintended consequence of creating excessive litigation?
    • Will allow courts to help us & will allow citizens to petition and seek redress on ordinances
    • No damages available, so no incentive
  • Turner – On standing, any person sustaining injury or threatened?
    • Common law standing
  • Turner – How does someone prove a threatened injury
    • Can litigate in court over threat of rights infringement
  • Turner – Many ordinances are designed to enhance workplace safety; did any paid leave ordinances go into effect?
    • No, but many spent a lot to combat these; businesses had to try to figure out how to comply, had to hire lawyers
  • Turner – TX construction workers are at particular risk of death from heat & dehydration
    • Agree, which is why OSHA standards are important; many construction threats
  • Turner – Many workers do not get those types of breaks
    • Not aware of prevalence of workers being denied the right
  • Turner – If they’re not in 2 cities, they actually don’t have a right; UT survey found more than 1/3rd of workers do not receive rest breaks
    • Sounds like OSHA is not doing its job, might should make sure they can report to OSHA
  • Turner – OSHA has recommendations, not a rule, up to TX; why is it a problem for individual cities to address this?
    • OSHA doesn’t have consistent metrics on breaks; city standards don’t have basis & OSHA has declined to act
  • Turner – No statewide agency looking at workplace safety
    • Shouldn’t go to cities on doing that; don’t think OSHA is inadequate
  • Turner – In your view, what is a city’s role?
    • Keeping streets clean, water, sewer, police, fire; things historically done
  • Turner – Cities have done a lot of things historically that will be preempted under the bill
  • Turner and Burrows discuss history of city regulations
  • Wu – Many cities in TX have passed non-discrimination ordinances
    • NDOs not preempted by this legislation
  • Wu – Legislature has fails to act on predatory lending like payday loans, title loans; does this bill ban future ordinances on these?
    • It does, agreed to preserve 49 ordinances in existence, grandfathered those
  • Wu – If a city needs to adjust their existing ordinance in place prior to the deadline, would they be able to do that?
    • Under this bill, I don’t believe so; 49 stay in existence as is, agreed to with stakeholder group
  • Wu – Cities also deal with unethical puppy mills, roadside pet sellers
  • Ramos – Bill extends beyond state of TX, nationwide movement?
    • No idea
  • Ramos – Familiar with ALEC?
    • Familiar with name
  • Ramos – Promotes corporate interests nationwide
    • Hope they take my bill and model for the country
  • Ramos – Did you not take their bill?
    • This is not their bill
  • Ramos – Policy will be found on ALEC website
    • They took my language and used it as a model
  • FA 1 Turner – Strikes the enacting clause
    • Turner – Unconstitutional & against the will of TX voters, don’t know everything this bill will preempt, removes important workplace protections, a lot of ambiguity on NDOs, will not allow new predatory lending ordinances
    • Wu – Cities often need to pass ordinances to respond to exigent circumstances
    • Wu and Turner discuss unique needs of municipalities, unpredictable effect of legislation; could hamper TX’s competitiveness
    • TMF – Striking enacting clause seems extreme, have you tried to improve the bill?
      • Turner – Yes, raised issues in the State Affairs committee; broad nature of preemption could hinder local govs, trying to get clarity & prohibiting rest and water breaks is problematic
    • TMF and Turner discuss potential of bill to affect competitiveness of local govs
    • FA 1 fails (56-90)
  • Bryant POO, Rule 8, Sec. 3 contains more than one subject
  • FA 2 Burrows – perfecting amendment, venue is narrowed & addresses puppy ordinances
    • FA 2 Adopted  
  • FA 3 TMF – addresses page 1 line 19 through page 2 line 11, underlined text becomes part of the law
    • Burrows – don’t need this in different sections
    • FA 3 fails (59-82)
  • FA 4 Ramos – short term rental ordinances for local governments would be protected
    • FA 4 fails (55-85)
  • FA 5 Ramos – addresses pop up gaming rooms
    • FA 5 fails (56-88)
  • FA 6 Reynolds – construction and clarification on existing protections to build projects with certain standards
    • FA 6 fails (54-89)
  • FA 7 Goodwin – honey bees protections and other pollinator species
    • FA 7 fails (56-89)
  • FA 8 Reynolds – pesticides safe application and promote alternatives to pesticides
    • FA 8 fails (55-87)
  • FA 9 Lalani – Soil & water conservation regulation authority
    • FA 9 fails (57-88)
  • FA 10 Cole – Water use and drought contingency plan authority
    • Zwiener – Local govs in need of regulating water use and drought, bill so broad that cities are unsure what activities are allowed
    • FA 10 fails (59-87)
  • FA 11 Bhojani – Grandfathers existing ordinances
    • FA 11 fails (60-87)
  • FA 12 TMF – Bill will have lots of questions that will lead to litigation, establishes actual injury and affected party standing
    • Burrows – Changes standing requirements, unnecessary
    • FA 12 fails (61-83)
  • FA 13 Morales Shaw – TX wetlands protection measure
    • FA 13 fails (60-86)
  • FA 14 Zwiener – City officials would not have to pay legal fees if they are sued under the bill
    • FA 14 fails (59-87)
  • FA 15 Zwiener – Allows city or county official sued under the section to be able to collect attorney’s fees and costs from plaintiff
    • FA 15 fails (59-87)
  • FA 16 Rosenthal – Pay day lender regulation authority
    • Hinojosa and Rosenthal discuss need to enact and change ordinances in response to predatory payday lender practices
    • FA 16 fails (58-86)
  • FA 17 Rosenthal – Allows modification of payday lending ordinances
    • FA 17 fails (59-87)
  • Turner POO, analysis is materially & substantially misleading; withdrawn
  • FA 18 V Jones – Allows existing worker protections to stay in place
    • Garcia and V Jones discuss how bill would negatively impact ordinances and worker protections
    • FA 18 fails (57-83)
  • FA 19 Vo – NDO for fluency & accent for employees of businesses of any size
    • FA 19 fails (55-88)
  • FA 20 Walle – Emergency ordinances authority
    • Burrows – Health & Safety Code unaffected by bill
    • FA 20 fails (57-84)
  • FA 21 Ortega – Construction safety ordinance authority
    • FA 21 fails (58-86)
  • FA 22 Lalani – NDO based on political beliefs
    • FA 22 fails (58-87)
  • FA 23 Garcia – NDOs for veterans
    • FA 23 fails (60-84)
  • FA 24 M Gonzalez – Wage theft ordinances
    • FA 24 fails (55-85)
  • FA 25 Moody – Ordinances regulating migrant labor housing
    • FA 25 fails (57-88)
  • FA 26 J Gonzalez – NDOs for gender identity and sexual orientation
    • FA 26 fails (57-88)
  • FA 27 Bucy – Grandfather existing ordinances on criminal background & employment
    • FA 27 fails (60-86)
  • FA 28 Neave Criado – Sexual harassment ordinance authority
    • J Gonzalez and Neave Criado discuss economic cost of sexual harassment to workplaced
    • Morales discusses chilling effect of workplace harassment on women participating in the workforce
    • FA 29 to FA 28 Neave Criado – Adds 2 sections of Penal Code, sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault
      • FA 29 adopted
    • FA 30 to FA 28 Ramos – POO by Geren on germaneness
      • Discuss about sexual assault, power dynamics between employer and employee concern
      • Discussion about under drinking age interns that work at Capitol, need to help protect staffers from assault
      • FA 30 withdrawn
    • FA 28 fails (63-78)
  • FA 31 Morales Shaw – workers guaranteed a right to a meal break, does not dictate time or pay
    • FA 31 fails (56-83)
  • FA 32 Flores – strikes section 10 but replaces it with statewide regulation on heat safety practices
    • Vasut POO on germane
    • POO withdrawn
    • FA 32 withdrawn
  • FA 33 Flores – strike lines on page 6 so labor code is exempted from bill
    • FA 33 fails (57-87)
  • FA 34 Flores – Setbacks for O&G dev
    • FA 34 fails (57-87)
  • Zwiener POO CS not germane, withdrawn
  • FA 35 Goodwin – Cave protection ordinances
    • FA 35 fails (58-88)
  • Zwiener POO CS not germane, withdrawn
  • FA 36 Zwiener – ROW regulation
    • FA 36 fails (57-89)
  • FA 37 Thimesch – Massage establishment regulations
    • Thimesch – Acceptable to the author
    • FA 37 adopted (123-17) 
  • FA 38 Anchia – States that bill does not affect NDOs 
    • Anchia and Neave Criado discuss scope of NDOs 
    • FA 38 fails (61-86) 
  • Turner speaks against the bill
  • Passed to engrossment (92-55) 

 

HB 2127 (Burrows) Relating to state preemption of and the effect of certain state or federal law on certain municipal and county regulation.

  • Julie Johnson – Asks for legislative intent that HB 2127 does not preempt NDOs
    • Burrows – For all the reasons articulated yesterday & others, clear that it does not
  • Finally passed (92-56)