Texas lawmakers refuse to 'protect residents' from heatwave: San Antonio mayor

Texas lawmakers refuse to 'protect residents' from heatwave: San Antonio mayor
San Antonio, Texas Mayor Ron Nirenberg, Image via Twitter/screengrab.

As the heatwave currently plaguing Texas prevails, San Antonio Mayor Mark Nirenberg's frustration with Texas state lawmakers grows, Politico reports.

According to Reuters, President Joe Biden recently "instructed the Department of Labor to ramp up enforcement of on-the-job heat hazards" in states like Texas "by increasing inspections at construction and agriculture sites, and to issue Hazard Alerts that inform employers of their responsibilities and employees of their rights during extreme heat."

Last month, Texas Public Radio (TPR) reported Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott passed a bill — which opponents call the "Death Star Bill" — that "poses serious health risks" to construction workers, "bars cities and counties from passing regulations that are stricter than state ones," and "overturns local rules such as ordinances in Austin and Dallas that mandate rest breaks for construction workers."

READ MORE: Texas 'Death Star Bill' could leave construction workers 'fatigued, disoriented, dehydrated': report

Politico reports Nirenberg, on Sunday's segment of CBS' Face the Nation, said, "We're certainly grateful for a president now that's treating this heatwave with the urgency that I think is necessary. Especially given the fact that one of the challenges that we have is, cities in Texas are fighting our legislature and our state government for local control. We're trying to protect residents and workers, and they are doing everything they can to prevent that from happening."

The mayor emphasized, "What the announcement from President Biden will do is make sure that employers and employees know their rights, that there are protections in place also to ramp up enforcement activities through OSHA. But the reality of the legislation I mentioned is the fact that [House Bill] 2127, which was passed by the legislature, upends 70-plus years of local authorities that have been adopted through city constitution, city charters, in cities all across the state."

READ MORE: 'No end in sight' for massive heat wave plaguing Texas, New Mexico: NWS

Politico's full report is available at this link. Reuters' report is here (subscription required).

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