Paid sick leave next battle over cities' rights

Nearly 30 Republican state lawmakers have signed onto a lawsuit to block the cities of Austin and San Antonio from forcing business to offer paid sick leave to employees.

Supporters believe the measures help workers who need days off to care for themselves or for sick children. Opponents argue it violates both state and federal law.

“I think it's very unfair to business, in particular our small businesses, and truthfully I don't think it advantages the employee,” says state Rep. Dennis Bonnen, R-Angleton. “The truth of it is it's a job killer.”

Bonnen says lawmakers will have to address the issue come January.

“There will definitely be legislation next session to tighten this up and make it beyond clear, though I think it's pretty darn clear now that this is not something that cities have the authority to go out and do,” he says.

Some see it as another attempt by Democrat-controlled cities to challenge the Republican-led Legislature.

 “Cities continue to want to push the envelope and try to candidly operate as little mini-states or mini-nations and pass things that they don't have the authority to do and put costs and burdens upon the business and the citizens in their communities,” says Bonnen.

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