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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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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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The Source - April 1, 2014
11:54 am
Tue April 1, 2014

The Source: AACOG Scandal Leads To Dismissal Of Executive

Credit Alamo Area Council of Governments

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.

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The Source - March 31, 2014
5:28 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

The Source: Is It Time To Get Tough On Vaccines?

http://bit.ly/1e5KlUH
Credit Pascal Dolémieux / Sanofi Pasteur

A 1998 article in the medical journal "The Lancet" linked autism to child vaccinations causing an uproar. And though the research of that study by Dr. Andrew Wakefield, has been thoroughly discredited and no link in subsequent studies--of which their have been numerous--have been found, fears persist.

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Community Health
4:59 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

50,000 People Take To The Street On Siclovia's Southtown Route

A cyclist pauses during the sixth semi-annual Síclovía on St Mary's Street.
Joey Palacios TPR News

Tens of thousands of people flooded Southtown on Sunday for the city’s semi-annual Síclovía, where the roads are closed to cars and open to other people-powered means of transportation.

Attendees couldn’t have asked for better weather on Sunday to ride in the open streets and Southtown was filled with bikes, runners, dog walkers and rollerbladers. In it’s sixth installment, 50,000 people attended, a slight drop from last year’s 70,000.

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The Source - March 31, 2014
4:50 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

The Source: GOP May Drop Guest Worker Plank From Platform

Credit Republican Party of Texas

In 2012 the Republican Party of Texas adopted a platform including support for a guest-worker program for immigrant communities. Dubbed the "Texas Solution," the program did not provide for a path to citizenship but would allow foreign nationals to work in this country legally. 

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The Source - March 31, 2014
12:32 pm
Mon March 31, 2014

The Source: Tracking The "Unlobbyists"

https://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05/6355832769/
Flickr user 401(K) 2012 cc

  Washington, D.C., has seen a drop in the number of registered lobbyists and in dollars spent on lobbying since 2008.

But before you break out the champagne to celebrate the end of influence-peddling, hear this: 46 percent of those former lobbyists in 2012 were still employed by the same firms, doing very similar jobs, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. 

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Community
10:14 am
Mon March 31, 2014

Bexar County Jail Program Helps Incarcerated Mothers Connect To a New Way Of Life

"...this program I would recommend to any mom that comes in here because if you need to change your life, it'll help you."
Credit Eileen Pace / TPR News

According to the Texas Department of Criminal Justice, more than 7 million children in the U.S. have at least one parent in jail or prison. Studies show many of the children get stuck in a cycle of intergenerational crime and incarceration. 

Several programs in Texas jails are trying to break that cycle.

This month marked 30 years for Bexar County’s Mothers and Their Children (MATCH) Program, which works to make things better for kids whose mothers are spending time behind bars.

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Libraries
4:32 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Bexar County's Bibliotech Shares Accessibility Message In The Netherlands

Bibliotech's all digital, cloud-based books captured the attention of library directors in the Netherlands.
Eileen Pace TPR News

Bexar County’s Bibliotech is an international hot topic this week. The all-digital library's two directors are speaking to their counterparts of book-based libraries in the Netherlands.

After representatives from Stichting Bibliotheek, the national library foundation in The Netherlands, made a trip here in January to get a tour, they were eager for Bibliotech’s key people to speak at a conference.

Bexar County Special Projects Coordinator Laura Cole said she is presenting Bibliotech’s story of meeting the need for library services in unincorporated areas of the county.

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The Source - March 27, 2014
1:09 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

The Source: The Legacy Of The 'Red Scare' In Texas

When "Red Scare: Right-Wing Hysteria, Fifties Fanaticism, and Their Legacy in Texas" was first published in 1985 it won the Texas State Historical Society's prize for best book on Texas History.

Now nearly 30 years later, it has been republished by the University of Texas Press and is still resounds with the ideas of political messaging, group think and the darker parts of our common history.

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