Fair Chance Hiring

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.

Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon / KUT

Austin City Council members voted Thursday to ask the city manager to look into creating a new department to oversee its labor rights laws – including rules that guarantee rest breaks for construction workers and mandate paid sick leave for private employees.

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

When Lewis Conway Jr. was released from prison in 2000 after serving time for manslaughter, the state required him to wear an electronic monitoring device. But nothing fit his ankles.

“So they put the electronic monitor on my wrist,” said Conway, who works on criminal justice issues for the nonprofit Grassroots Leadership. “It was about the size of a baby car on my wrist.”

Gabriel C. Pérez / KUT

When Lauren Johnson started job-hunting in the early 1990s, she walked from business to business filling out applications by hand. “It’ll be so much easier someday when this is all computerized,” she remembers thinking.