Ban The Box

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

When the Texas Legislature reconvenes Jan. 8, lawmakers will already have on their desks bills aimed at undoing City of Austin rules.

The city-state conflict is nothing new. Last time they met in 2017, state lawmakers passed bills overturning Austin ordinances affecting ride-hailing companies, like Uber and Lyft, and passed a "sanctuary cities" bill.

Kathryn Decker from flickr

Sometimes, a potential law goes by two names.

But other times, it goes by one – while confusion has bred alternative monikers. For instance, Austin City Council members have spent the past year chewing over hiring requirements for private employers. But recently, Council Member Ellen Troxclair expressed some confusion about what to call this: "ban the box" or a "fair chance hiring" ordinance?

Kathryn Decker from flickr

Austin City Council will soon decide whether to require employers to remove a box from initial job applications that asks applicants if they’ve been convicted of a crime. They call it "banning the box."