Austin, Texas
April 9, 2009

Honorable Royce West, Chair, Senate Committee on Intergovernmental Relations
John S. O'Brien, Director, Legislative Budget Board
SB2447 by Uresti (Relating to the right of certain counties to maintain local control over wages, hours, and other terms and conditions of employment.), As Introduced

No fiscal implication to the State is anticipated.

The bill would add Chapter 162 to the Local Government Code to authorize meet and confer for employees, except police officers who are covered under Chapter 174, in a county with a population of more than 1 million that has adopted a resolution or policy providing for a consultation system in which the county will meet or consult with an employee association representing employees if the association is supported by at least 30 percent of the employees eligible to participate.

The bill sets forth the procedures for establishing, and those for repealing, an agreement between a county and an employee association and specifies that a county may not be denied local control over wages, salaries, rates of pay, hours of work, other terms and conditions of employment, or other state-mandated personnel issues.

Local Government Impact

Based on population size, the bill would apply to four counties: Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Tarrant. According to the Texas Association of Counties, Bexar County has adopted a resolution as indicated in the applicability criteria of the bill and Harris County has not. The association did not have information from Dallas or Tarrant counties.

At a minimum, a county would incur costs associated with placing on an election ballot a proposal for authorizing meet and confer for the county employees and administrative costs during the establishment and bargaining processes. All other costs would depend on the agreement finalized between the county and the county employees association, although according to the Texas Association of Counties, the costs could be significant.

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