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The Source - April 2, 2014
4:35 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

The Source: Supreme Court's McCutcheon Ruling Is Blow To Campaign Finance Reform

Flickr user Adam Fagen (afagen) cc

This morning the Supreme Court came down on the side of Shaun McCutcheon to the collective exasperation of campaign finance reformers. McCutcheon, an Alabama millionaire who challenged the Federal Election Commission's limit on how much money a person can donate in the aggregate. You can find the majority opinion here.

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Criminal Justice
3:59 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Update: Texas Execution Back On Schedule, US 5th Circuit Reverses Lower Court Ruling

Update (4/3): In a last-minute decision Wednesday night, the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals has reversed the lower federal district court's decision to halt the execution of death row inmate Tommy Sells, who is scheduled to die today, Thursday, April 3.

The execution had been halted pending a privacy-disclosure case involving the pharmacy manufacturing the drugs being used in the execution. Sells' attorney says she will be taking the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

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Arts & Culture
2:18 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Jane Pauley Looks Forward To Your Questions At SA Book Festival

Jane Pauley.
Kelly Campbell

TV news anchor and author Jane Pauley is coming to the San Antonio Book Festival on Saturday. I spoke to her Wednesday, and it doesn’t take long before her Midwestern humility comes through.

“I’m going to be mixing with my betters, with authors and people who read books, and it’s very exciting to be in a crowd such as that." After a half step, Pauley added with a laugh: "And to be in San Antonio on top of it!”

She’s one of many authors who will be at the downtown library for what she calls not a speech, but a moderated conversation.

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Abortion in Texas
1:59 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Second Lawsuit Filed Challenging Sections Of Texas Abortion Law

A pro-life supporter reads his bible at the state capitol as lawmakers engaged in heated debate over the new abortion clinic restrictions in July 2013.
Ryan Poppe TPR News

The Center for Reproductive Rights and other abortion-rights groups have filed a second lawsuit challenging another component of the Texas new Abortion Law that passed last summer in a special session.

This second lawsuit challenges requirements that all clinics become ambulatory surgical centers in order to operate in the State of Texas.

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The Source - April 2, 2014
1:18 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

The Source: Equal Pay In Texas

President Barack Obama signs the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act (January 1 2009).
By Joyce N. Boghosian via Wikimedia Commons cc

Equal pay for women has become a rallying cry for Democrats across Texas. Wendy Davis' campaign for governor has seized on the issue, making it central to her messaging.

Attorney General Greg Abbot, who is on the Republican ticket in the race for governor, has dismissed the issue, but was recently criticized when women in his own office were found to be paid less than their male colleagues for the same work.

Last year the Texas Legislature passed a state law allowing women who were discriminated against by their employers in pay to sue in state court. Gov. Rick Perry subsequently vetoed the bill, calling it redundant:

"Texas' commitment to smart regulations and fair courts is a large part of why we continue to lead the nation in job creation. House Bill 950 duplicates federal law, which already allows employees who feel they have been discriminated against through compensation to file a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission." - Gov. Rick Perry

The federal law Perry refers to is the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which allows women to sue in federal court. The state version is better, said advocates, because it allowed for a quicker response at the local level, criticizing the federal court system as underfunded and slow. The Texas Association of Business wrote Perry to support a veto, arguing that the bill increased cumbersome regulation and frivolous lawsuits. 

“Asking an employer to be responsible for decisions that were made 10 or 15 years ago just does not work.  In many cases no one would be around that would know anything about why those decisions were made at the time.  The lack of a statute of limitations for filing these cases is bad for business, and this bill is bad for business, pure and simple.” - Bill Hammond, president TAB
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Texas Politics
12:56 pm
Wed April 2, 2014

Texas Republicans Split On Immigrant Guest Worker Program In Party Platform

David Martin Davies TPR News

There is a stir among Texas Republicans on whether or not the party will keep a guest worker program as part of its campaign platform when the party meets in June.

Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson has long been a proponent of what has been labeled a "Texas solution," which would allow undocumented workers without a criminal record to remain in Texas for a job.

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2014 Governor's Race
10:16 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Gubernatorial Pre-K Platforms: Davis Wants Expansion, All-Day Programs, Abbott Focuses On Quality

Louis Malfaro, treasurer of the Texas American Federation of Teachers, speaking at Lucy Reed Pre-K Elementary School in reaction to Greg Abbott's pre-K Campaign platform.
Ryan E. Poppe TPR News

Teachers who are endorsing Democrat Wendy Davis for governor say Republican Greg Abbott was wrong for calling it a “waste to expand access” to state pre-K programs. But there are some who agree with the idea that quality should come before quantity.

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Arts & Culture
9:52 am
Wed April 2, 2014

SAY Si: Nurturing Artistic Creativity In San Antonio Teenagers

SAY Sí student.
Tommy Hopkins

You may already know SAY Sí from what they do for young people in San Antonio.

“SAY Sí is a youth arts development program," said Visual Arts Director Tommy Hopkins. "We provide year-round tuition-free arts programming for middle school and high school students.”

SAY Sí operates from a well-equipped South Alamo location, one geared to teach a wide variety of arts.

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Arts & Culture
3:47 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

Overtime Theater's 'Bluestory' Conjures Childhood Creativity

Bluestory cast.
Julya Jara

The Overtime Theater has launched a new production with an odd story line. First, you should know what separates the Overtime from other theaters here in San Antonio.

“The Overtime Theater is devoted to completely original work," said Overtime’s Artistic Director Kyle Gillette. "And most of that original work emerges locally, so almost everything we do is either a world premiere or a new adaption. Sometimes things that are very innovative aren’t very accessible, but we really combine the two. So what we do is very fun work, but it also pushes the envelope.”

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The Source - April 1, 2014
12:45 pm
Tue April 1, 2014

The Source: Gov. Perry Calls Full Prison Rape Elimination Act Implementation "Impossible"

Flickr User: 710928003 cc

Texas Gov. Rick Perry wrote a letter to the U.S. attorney general last week. In it, Perry stated he would not be able to certify Texas prisons under the guidelines of the Prison Rape Elimination Act of 2003 (PREA).

Perry cited several points of issue, with the largest being cross-gender monitoring.

The guidelines establish that only members of the same sex should monitor prisoners in private settings like showers and dressing areas. Perry called the restriction "impossible" to enforce.

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