As his state faced a dangerous heat wave this week, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott signed a sweeping new law that will overturn a wide range of local regulations, including mandatory water breaks for construction workers, effective from September 1. according to The Texas Tribune.
The new Republican-backed law removes the ability of local municipalities to enact certain regulations in favor of state authority, ostensibly to “provide consistency across the state.” It covers a wide range, including other worker protections, environmental protections, housing protections, and more.
Critics called it the “Death Star Bill.” The president of the Houston chapter of the NAACP, Bishop James Dixon, called it “a threat to civil rights and human rights.” according to local outlet KHOU11.
between his supporters There were several construction business associations.
Dallas and Austin currently require workers to have at least 10 minutes to cool down and hydrate every four hours.
Abbott signed the legislation Tuesday. On Thursday and Friday, some areas of the state began to set new heat recordsand others are expected to record new highs as temperatures soar to triple digits in the coming days.
Millions of people throughout the Houston region received an excessive heat warning Friday, through Sunday, with “feeling” temperatures that could hit 120 degrees. The National Weather Service Also he said that south Texas and eastern Louisiana are at increased risk of fires due to heat, which will put pressure on the state fragile power grid. Average temperatures in Texas have been increasing for decades.
Texas is already the state with the most worker deaths due to heat, according to the Texas Tribune.
The Tribune reported that heat-related deaths reached a two-decade high last year when at least 279 people across Texas died from heat.