House State Affairs is hearing a slate of extreme proposals (SB 2485 – SB 2488) threatening the ability of cities and counties to pass a wide range of worker protections. We will be hosting a Lobby Day with events well into the evening. There will be an opportunity to testify at The House State Affairs Hearing, join in a press conference and rally at the capital to protect the ability to affect local government, lobby your representative and other lawmakers, and in the evening there will be a presentation on effective organizing and how to win big gaines. Join us at the capitol to fight for local democracy, paid sick days and hard-working Texans!
Committee Hearing Logistics
When: Wednesday, May 1, 8 am
Where: Texas State Capitol, Hearing Room E2.014 (Extension Second Floor – map)
Committee Members: https://house.texas.gov/
What if I cannot be there? It is important for all of us to be heard and there is a way for everyone to be involved! If you cannot attend show your solidarity by texting fight back to 235-246. Follow the prompts to enter your zip code and you will be connected to your representative. Mention that you are an IBEW member, a constituent, and that you are opposed to SB2485 – 2488. This is very important and helpful to do if you cannot attend!
How do I register? You can register against SB 2485, SB 2486, SB 2487, and SB 2488 and indicate whether or not you wish to testify electronically in person using the touchscreen kiosks located in the Capitol Extension (floors E1 and E2).
You can also access House Witness Registration on your iPad once connected to the Public-Capitol Wi-Fi: http://hwrs.house.state.tx.us. Check out this page for more details, kiosk locations and a how-to video: https://mytxlegis.capitol.
Which bills should I register against? Please register against all four bills by Sen. Creighton (SB 2485, SB 2486, SB 2487, and SB 2488):
SB 2485 – prohibits local governments from requiring benefits such as health, disability, retirement, profit-sharing, death, and group death or dismemberment benefits.
SB 2486 – would ban local fair scheduling ordinances.
SB 2487 – bans cities from adopting requirements for leave, paid sick days, paid holidays, vacation, and personal necessity.
SB 2488 – prohibits local “fair chance” hiring ordinances relating to hiring those with a criminal history.
Do I have to speak? No – when you register your position using the electronic system, you can indicate whether or not you wish to testify. If you do testify the committee members have can ask you questions after your testimony.
Where should I park? We will meet at the IBEW local 520 hall located at 4818 E Ben White Blvd. Austin, TX 78741 and leave shortly after 7:00 am to carpool to AFL-CIO building located at 1106 Lavaca st. Austin,Tx 78701 or if you are arriving later you can pay to park in the visitor’s parking garage. Parking is free for the first 2 hours and $1.00 for each half hour thereafter. The maximum daily charge is $12.00. There is also metered street parking.
Prepare: There is usually a 2-3 minute time limit for public testimony so make sure you are ready! You may want to write out your talking points or notes for yourself about what you want to say, and run through it a few times.
Tell your story: It can be very helpful to include a personal story, or how this issue impacts you personally. Check out this video from Texas Impact for additional tips from lawmakers and activists on telling your story at the capitol: https://youtu.be/epXq_qI5dv8.
Greet the committee: A common greeting is “Good [morning/afternoon/evening] Chair, Vice Chair and committee members…”
Introduce yourself: Who are you? Who are you with? What district do you live in? Example: “My name is Jane Q. Public, and I’m with Fight for 15 Texas, and the Work Strong Austin coalition. I am also a constituent of House District 48.” If you’re not sure which district you live in, you can look up your Representative here: https://capitol.texas.gov/.
State your position: After a greeting, be clear and precise about your position: “I am here in opposition of SB 2485, SB 2486, SB 2487, and SB 2488.”
Make an ask: Good testimony usually includes an ask for the committee to stand with you, your organization, and for your position. For example, “Please stand with working families and vote no on SB 2485, SB 2486, SB 2487, and SB 2488.”
Listen: Listen to the testimony of others who speak before you and try not to repeat. It is okay to go up and say that you “support the testimony that has just been given.” You may also want to use your time to respond to inaccuracies or contradictions that the other side has made in their remarks.
Be polite. While you may want to show support for testimony or remarks from committee members that you agree with by clapping or cheering, hearing rooms are not the place for this. It’s also inappropriate to boo, hiss, etc. if you disagree with something said in the hearing. The Chairman will eject the public from the hearing if there are persistent outbursts.
Get comfortable: Arrive early and expect the stay late! The hearing will pause for the House floor session and resume after the floor session adjourns, so there may be a break of several hours before testimony resumes. We will go make visits to our representatives during this time. There is a chance that the hearing will go on late into the evening.
If you have any questions call or text Robert Yezak @ 512-317-8041