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Can We Trust Abbott to Support Equal Pay?

In Greg Abbott's fumbling, bumbling response to why he won't support the Equal Pay Act, he believes the discredited claim that existing state law is sufficient to ensure women are not discriminated against when it comes to equal pay. Yet both the Texas Supreme Court and the Fort Worth Court of Appeals have previously ruled that existing state law is not sufficient.

In Texas, 400,000 low-income women are heads of their households. They rely on full day's pay for family housing, utility bills, transportation, and food. Yet women in Texas are only paid 82 cents on the dollar. To date, 42 other states have already passed their own Equal Pay law.

Here is some additional background on Texas' Equal Pay law:

  • Earlier this year Macy's signed a letter (read the letter here - see Page 3 of PDF) to Governor Rick Perry urging him to veto the equal pay law, HB 950. The bill was written by Senator Wendy Davis and Representative Senfronia Thompson and approved by the Texas Legislature. This law would have given legal standing to women who are paid less for doing the same job as a man.
  • On Friday June 14th, Governor Rick Perry vetoed House Bill 950, as the Houston Chronicle originally reported ("Perry vetoed wage bill after getting letters from retailers").
  • Perry's veto statement inaccurately stated that House Bill 950 "duplicates federal law" - which it doesn't. Both the Fort Worth Court of Appeals and the Texas Supreme Court have stated that the Texas law is necessary. 
  • The federal version of the law offers protection in federal courts - but does not provide standing in state courts which can provide more affordable and more timely judgments.