Mayor to form commission to look at paid sick leave ordinance

Mayor Ron Nirenberg addresses the North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce on Aug. 10, 2018 (Photo: North San Antonio Chamber of Commerce/Facebook)

SAN ANTONIO (KTSA News) –  You can expect some changes to the mandatory paid sick leave ordinance adopted last week by the San Antonio City Council. Mayor Ron Nirenberg says he wants the business community to have a say.

“I’m going to be announcing a commission to do exactly that–to bring the business community to the table so that before this is enacted, before it’s implemented if the legislature doesn’t act, we have something that’s more palatable,” Nirenberg said on the Trey Ware Morning Show.

A petition drive forced the council to adopt the ordinance or put it on the ballot in November, which the mayor didn’t want to do.

“That was not a good option because the ordinance was not ready for prime time,” Nirenberg said.

He told Trey Ware it probably would have passed as written.

“When we get an ordinance written like this through a petition referendum, the city council and the community in general  don’t have an opportunity to weigh in on how it’s implemented, he said.

A similar ordinance approved by Austin’s City Council has been temporarily suspended as it faces a legal challenge. The Texas Attorney General has advised city council that municipalities don’t have the authority to require businesses to give their employees paid sick leave. The mayor’s also fairly certain that the Texas Legislature will take up the matter early next year.

“Should the legislature not act or the courts not act, we want to make sure that our business community wasn’t put in the crosshairs with an ordinance that simply didn’t account for some of the challenges that they face,” said Nirenberg.

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