Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is challenging the city of Austin’s labor deal with the firefighters union, saying the agreement violates the state Constitution’s anti-gift provisions.
Paxton’s office, in a statement Tuesday, said the deal “allows for ‘release time,’ which permits city employees to work for the union at taxpayer expense.
The deal “violates the Texas Constitution anti-gift clause provisions that prohibit governments from giving taxpayer funds to private entities without a public purpose,” the statement said.
“Under the agreement, taxpayers are paying approximately three full-time firefighters each year to do nothing but engage in union business, including engaging in partisan political activity on behalf of the union and against the interests of taxpayers,” the statement said.
“The city of Austin has abused its taxing power and with it the public trust,” Paxton said in the statement. “The city is siphoning money that should go to vital emergency services and redirecting it towards a labor union’s political activity.”