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Weekly Labor Legislative Update on the 87th Texas Legislature
A bill that would clear a path for nurses who contracted COVID-19 to receive Workers’ Compensation coverage (where available) won final passage today in the Texas House.
The Texas House today gave final approval to a labor-backed “Helmets to Hardhats” bill that can help steer military veterans to apprenticeship training programs.
The Texas House voted today to keep a practice that denies many Texas construction workers basic job benefits.

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Recent Press Releses

  In the wake of death threats against U.S. Rep. Al Green, D-Houston, following Green’s call for President Donald Trump’s impeachment, Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick issued the following statement:

  “Congressman Al Green is our close friend, but that doesn’t have anything to do with our defense of his right to call for the impeachment of a President. The Texas AFL-CIO condemns any and all threats of violence against elected officials.”

  Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick today criticized tentative House approval of SB 2078, which now includes a “bathroom bill” amendment:

  “SB 2078 may check a box on the political agenda of Gov. Greg Abbott and Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick but it is wrong for Texas. The discriminatory message sent by this bill is dangerous, as it will stigmatize children and undermine other legislative efforts to limit bullying in our schools. Future generations will look at this politically driven ‘compromise’ with the disdain that it deserves.”

  Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick issued the following statement in the wake of Gov. Greg Abbott’s decision to sign SB 4, the so-called “sanctuary cities’ bill:

  “Gov. Abbott’s signing of SB 4 in the privacy of his office on a Sunday speaks volumes. If our Governor were truly proud of SB 4 – his ‘emergency’ item no less – he would have held a signing ceremony with the bill’s authors and sponsors. Instead, he chose without notice to go live on Facebook, where he had ‘sanctuary’ from the court of public opinion.”

  In the wake of final Texas House approval of its version of SB 4, the so-called “sanctuary cities” bill, Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick issued this statement:

  Approval of a harsh, “show me your papers”-style bill that drafts local criminal justice officials into becoming an arm of the federal immigration system marks one of the saddest days I have ever spent around the Texas Legislature.

  Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick today strongly criticized a sneak attack on public pensions after Republicans prevailed in a 20-10 vote in the Texas Senate to confirm Josh McGee to chair the State Pension Review Board.

  “Working people opposed Josh McGee’s nomination because he has a classic conflict of interest, and is actually paid to travel the country and seek to convert strong, stable pensions into riskier defined contribution plans,” Patrick said.

Texas AFL-CIO President John Patrick wrote this response to a recent column by Attorney General Ken Paxton in the Dallas Morning News in which the AG advocated for SB 13, which would take away the freedom of state and local employees in Texas to support the labor organizations of their choice through payroll dues deduction

By John Patrick
President, Texas AFL-CIO