Texas Democrats push bills to raise state minimum wage
- HB 937 proposes to increase the hourly minimum wage in Texas from $7.25 to $10.10 over five years.
- Several other bills have been filed to devolve minimum wage management to local governments or increase the minimum wage to $15, in line with some of the more ambitious proposals across the nation.
- The minimum wage was last changed statewide in 2009, though recent polls indicate that more than half of Texans support raising it.
House Bill 937
Minimum Wage Workers in Texas — 2015 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics)
New House report calls for increase in mental health resources across state
- The report by the Texas House Select Committee on Mental Health warned that current resource levels are inadequate to support mental health initiatives across areas like education, healthcare, and criminal justice.
- The cost of the effects of insufficient mental health resources—both financial and human—is expected to climb as the state continues to grow, and the state has begun to focus on behavioral healthcare reform to confront those costs.
- Recommendations include increasing the use of telemedicine, increasing resources to jail diversion programs, rural healthcare reform, increasing the rate of hospital construction, healthcare-practitioner education incentivization, and increasing access to substance abuse counseling and other resources.
Interim Report 2016: A Report to the House of Representatives 85th Texas Legislature
(Image Credit: Marjorie Kamys Cotera/The Texas Tribune)
El Paso ISD passes resolution supporting undocumented students
- EPISD trustees voted to affirm the district’s commitment to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program that protects undocumented individuals brought to the U.S. as children (DREAMers).
- The resolution stopped short of declaring EPISD a “sanctuary district,” which would involve a refusal to cooperate with federal attempts to use school districts in immigration law enforcement activities.
- The resolution comes on the tails of the El Paso Police Department and the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office indicating they would decline to serve as immigration law enforcers should President-elect Trump move forward with his immigration plans.
Resolution on DREAMers and immigration law enforcement (El Paso Independent School District)
“EPISD declares support for undocumented students” (The El Paso Times)
“EPPD, Sheriff’s Office would not enforce immigration law if Trump proposal approved” (KVIA)