June 14, 2013
Texas Senator Kirk Watson issued the following statement Friday on the Governor’s veto of House Bill 950, the Texas Lilly Ledbetter Act, which would have protected Texas women from wage discrimination and helped ensure that they would receive equal pay for equal work under state law, as well as other legislation affecting Texas women:
Today, one Senate committee is probably going to vote out one or more bills that seek a back-door elimination of women’s ability to make decisions about their own health and their own bodies.
Next week, people in control of the Texas Senate will most likely use a loophole in the rules, one that’s unique to this special session, to shove bills through a chamber that rejected them over and over again during the regular session.
And we now know that the Governor has vetoed a bill with what should have been an utterly uncontroversial legal premise: that women deserve as much pay as men when they do the same work as men, and they have the right to pursue that pay under state law when they’ve been discriminated against.
These aren’t isolated issues. These decisions connect with each other. They create a net that is specifically designed to ensnare Texas women. They make it harder for women both to receive the pay that men get, and to make the sorts of personal decisions about their health and their bodies that men are entitled to.
And why is this net being created? For politics. To win primaries. To appeal to a tiny segment of this state’s voters, no matter the effects on millions of Texas women.
At some point, people need to be transparent. They need to be honest. People need to admit what they’re doing and whom it’s affecting.
These are political decisions that are part of a political war, and women are – at best – the collateral damage in that war.
People are building their political campaigns over the rights of Texas women. It’s shameful.