2019 Texas AFL-CIO Legislative Agenda
Fighting for a Fair Shot for Working Families
Fully Fund Neighborhood Public Schools
The labor movement stands ready to work with a bipartisan coalition of legislators to raise teacher pay, reduce class size, reform high-stakes testing, oppose private school vouchers, stop expanding unaccountable charter schools, and increase the state’s share of public education funding to cut local property taxes.
Raise BetterWages and Expand Benefits
One job should be enough! The state needs to raise the minimum wage and public employee pay, end wage theft and worker misclassification, protect and improve public pensions, make sure every Texan is covered by workers compensation insurance and expand benefits like health care because every Texan who works hard should have a fair shot to get ahead. To stop undermining wages, Texas also needs to end tax giveaways to corporations that ship Texas jobs overseas.
Open Doors Wider to College and Apprenticeships
Student loan debt is hampering young Texans more than ever. Texas should increase funding for public colleges and universities with an eye toward reducing student financial burdens. The state should help increase availability of registered union apprenticeships – a proven path to a lifelong career, great wages, and outstanding healthcare and pension benefits.
Improve Access to Health Care
Every Texas family should be able to see a doctor without fear of bankruptcy or overwhelming medical bills. The state should expand Medicaid, expand the Children’s Health Insurance Program, expand access to earned paid sick days, and work toward universal access to health insurance coverage.
Criminal Justice Reform
A minor offense shouldn’t bankrupt a family or stop someone from getting a job, credit, or housing. Every day, Texans face daunting fines or even languish in jail because they cannot afford to settle simple traffic violations. The Texas labor movement is committed to working for an equal justice system that protects everyone’s liberty and safety.
Justice for Immigrant Workers
The federal government has failed to create the immigration system that our nation deserves. We will work to protect all workers – regardless of their immigration status – and will oppose state laws that create a sub-class of workers who cannot speak up out of fear of deportation. We will help lead the opposition to using Texas tax dollars to build an unnecessary and divisive border wall. Decriminalize, regulate, and tax marijuana
Expand Voting and Protect Democracy
The Texas labor movement is committed to expanding access to the polls. Our democracy works best when everyone participates. We will work to pass online and same-day voter registration, along with other measures that make it easier for every eligible Texan to cast a ballot.
Protect Workers’ Economic Freedom
The Legislature should not interfere with the freedom of employees to speak up together on the job for better working conditions. We continue to oppose legislation that would stifle the freedom of public employees to spend their hard-earned paychecks to pay dues to the organizations of their choice through payroll deduction.
A Future of Work That Lifts All Texans
Technological advances are improving the lives of many Texans, but some companies are seeking to avoid basic employer obligations. The rampant misclassification of workers in the gig economy is cheating workers out of important benefits and workplace protections. The State of Texas should insist on protections for working families in our changing economy.
Let's Make A Change
Here are some things you can do now: