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Texas House Business & Industry Committee Considers Minimum Wage, Criminal History Background Checks
Tuesday, March 21, 2017 6:55 AM

The House Business & Industry Committee heard several bills related to the minimum wage in Texas in a public meeting on Monday. 

H.B. 285 by Rep. Roberto Alonzo (D-Dallas), H.B 475 by Rep. Ron Reynolds (D-Ft. Bend), and H.B. 992 by Rep. Armando Walle (D-Houston) would raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour or the federal minimum wage, whichever is higher.

H.B. 924 by Rep. Chris Turner (D-Ft. Worth) and H.B. 937 by Rep. Senfronia Thompson (D-Houston) would raise the minimum to $10.10 per hour or the federal minimum wage, whichever is higher. Thompson’s bill would incrementally raise the minimum wage by 2022.

HJR 56 by Walle and HJR 57 by Turner would put the new rates, $15 or $10.10, into the state constitution. A constitutional amendment must pass the House and Senate by a two-thirds vote in order to be on the ballot in the November election and approved by the voters to become law.

Rep. Evelina Ortega (D-El Paso) and Rep. Justin Rodriguez (D-San Antonio) offered identical bills, H.B. 954 and H.B. 840, which would allow a local municipality to set the minimum wage for public and private employees.

A bill to prohibit municipalities from "banning the box," H.B. 577 by Rep. Paul Workman (R-Austin) was also heard. The "ban the box" ordinances do not allow employers to check an applicant’s criminal history before a provisional offer of employment has been made. Financial institutions are among the exceptions to this rule. Several large cities in Texas have passed these ordinances. A state-level law would replace the current patchwork of local ordinances that employers must deal with.

For more information, please contact Texas Credit Union Association President Jeff Huffman at 469-385-6488 or jhuffman@txcua.coop.