A Paid Sick Leave Drive in Dallas

Paid sick leave proponents in Dallas, TX have filed paperwork enabling them to collect signatures to try to put a paid sick leave initiative on the ballot in November, according to a report. Proponents now have 60 days, until June 11, 2018, to collect nearly 65,000 signatures, which is 10% of city voters, according to that report.

Austin planted the PSL flag in the South by passing its ordinance in February. That ordinance is effective on October 1, 2018.  My post about that ordinance is here. The proposed Dallas PSL ordinance is identical to that of Austin, according to that news report. An initiative to put PSL on the ballot in San Antonio is also underway.

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As we have seen, a state’s status as a blue state increases the chances that a PSL will pass while those chances are decreased in a red state. The Dallas situation is very similar to that of Austin and requires a bit of nuance.

In the 2016 presidential election, Texas was a red state: 53% of Texans voted for President Donald Trump while 43% voted for Secretary Hillary Clinton. However, Dallas County was deep blue, with more than 61% of votes cast for Secretary Clinton.  Given that deep blue status, one would expect to see strong support for a PSL ballot initiative. For that reason, it is worth keeping an eye on Dallas PSL developments.

The next obvious question is whether Texas will enact a preemption bill to ban political subdivisions from enacting  PSL laws. One state legislator has said that he would introduce such a bill in response to the Austin ordinance.

Stay tuned.