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Texas Activists Fight Back Against GOP’s War On Local Democracy

June 8, 2018

Talking Points Memo,

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June 8, 2018-

Texas progressives have a shot at a major policy victory that would make life easier for many hundreds of thousands of working people. To stop them, state Republicans are set to try to roll back local democracy. In February, Austin’s city council passed an ordinance requiring businesses to provide paid sick leave. Activists are poised to get similar measures on the November ballot in San Antonio and Dallas, via citizen-led initiatives.

But they’re are also girding for the next stage of the battle. If those measures pass, they expect the GOP-led state legislature, pressed by business interests, to file suit to block them after the fact. If that doesn’t work, Republicans are likely to pull out an even more potent weapon: preemption. That could expand the fight over paid sick days into a more elemental battle over the authority of local governments to set their own direction. In recent years, in states from Wisconsin to Alabama, cities have passed progressive economic, environmental, and public health policies only to see GOP-controlled state government use preemption laws —

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