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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.”
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.
Yesterday afternoon the Alamo Area Council of Governments (AACOG) fired its executive director, Dean Danos, and accepted the resignation of his deputy, Mike Quinn. Quinn resigned on March 25 and asked for nine months' salary as severance; his request was denied.