Ask the editor: What is the status of Proposition B?

Last month, we ran a lead story on Proposition B, the confusing measure Houston voters approved in November to give raises to firefighters to align their pay with Houston police officers.

As of early May, Houston was sending out layoff notices to firefighters and other city workers and sending checks with raises and backpay bonuses to Jan. 1 to the Houston firefighters who remained. As it turns out, however, all that might be for naught.

On May 15, District 157 Harris County Judge Tonya Garrison ruled Proposition B unconstitutional, saying it violates Texas Constitution’s rules surrounding city ordinances and is pre-empted by the Texas Local Government Code’s meet-and-confer rules for police and fire departments.

If the ruling sticks, it’s possible the last more than half-year of debate over this topic was for nothing, but it’s unclear what’s next. The Houston Professional Fire Fighters Association is already planning to appeal the decision.
By Jake Magee
Jake Magee has been a print journalist for several years, covering numerous beats including city government, education, business and more. Starting off at a daily newspaper in southern Wisconsin, Magee covered two small cities before being promoted to covering city government in the heart of newspaper's coverage area. He moved to Houston in mid-2018 to be the editor for and launch the Bay Area edition of Community Impact Newspaper.

<

MOST RECENT

Coronavirus cases continue to rise in Harris County. (Community Impact Staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 907 cases, 12 deaths confirmed July 9

The 12 deaths—the largest single day total in Harris County since the pandemic began—brings the total COVID-19 death count in the county to 423.

Firefighters, police officers, solid waste collectors and bus drivers in Houston have all been affected by coronavirus exposure. (Courtesy Pexel)
From solid waste collectors to firefighters, Houston’s public workers facing strain from coronavirus exposures

Houston’s core city services are being strained by coronavirus exposures, city leaders report.

The Texas Republican State Convention was set to be held July 16-18 at the George R. Brown Convention Center. (Courtesy Visit Houston)
Two new lawsuits aim to reverse GOP convention cancellation

The lawsuits come the day after the contract for hosting the event was terminated.

An average of 225 cases a day have been reported so far in July in Galveston County. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Galveston County adds 734 new coronavirus cases

There were 3,565 total cases in the county at the start of July. The latest totals on July 9 show a 49% increase in cases over the course of a week.

Effective July 9, hospitals in more than 100 counties across the state must now postpone elective surgeries unrelated to COVID-19. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
MAP: Governor expands restrictions on elective surgeries to more than 100 Texas counties

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott expanded the restrictions that initially required only hospitals in Bexar, Dallas, Harris, and Travis counties to postpone all non-medically necessary surgeries and procedures that are unrelated to COVID-19.

In compliance with Gov. Greg Abbott's July 2 executive order, the University Interscholastic League is requiring the use of facial coverings when practical to do so for all summer activity participants, among other guidelines. (Graphic by Ronald Winters/Community Impact Newspaper)
UIL releases guidelines for conducting summer activities during COVID-19 pandemic

The University Interscholastic League released udpated guidelines for schools conducting summer activities such as sports training and marching band practices on July 8.

Craft Burger is one of 15 restaurants, catering companies and food trucks participating in this year's Black Restaurant Week. (Courtesy Craft Burger)
Houston's fifth annual Black Restaurant Week returns July 10-19

Participating patrons can play Black Restaurant Week Bingo and vote for their favorite participating eateries for a chance to win prizes such as restaurant gift cards, culinary treats and cash prizes.

The city of Houston confirmed only 204 new cases July 8, down from over 1,000 July 7, a discrepancy that officials attributed to a "computer system slowdown." (Community Impact Staff)
Harris County coronavirus count: 701 new cases confirmed as hospitalizations hold steady July 8

The city of Houston confirmed only 204 new cases July 8—down from over 1,000 July 7—a discrepancy that officials attributed to a "computer system slowdown."

The design plans for several League City drainage projects will go before City Council for approval later this month. (Courtesy city of League City)
League City officials give updates on drainage projects amid hurricane season

Officials detailed the design process and provided rough timelines for projects in several flood-prone neighborhoods.

Six-thousand delegates were expected to attend the State of Texas Republican Party convention July 16-18. (Courtesy Visit Houston)
Houston First Corp. cancels Texas GOP convention under guidance from Mayor Turner

The decision came one week before 6,000 delegates were expected to attend the event at the George R. Brown Convention Center

Census worker
2020 census: Bureau prepares nonresponse follow-up field operations

For individuals who have not responded to the 2020 census, one of about 500,000 census takers will visit the their household between Aug. 11-Oct. 31.