Gov. Rick Perry’s veto of the Texas version of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act came at the request of some of the most powerful business interests in the Texas Capitol, the Houston Chronicle reports.
The Texas Association of Business and the National Federation of Independent Business sought the veto of HB 950 by Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, and Sen. Wendy Davis, D-Fort Worth, according to the article, which quotes from a letter by TAB Executive Director Bill Hammond.
The Texas AFL-CIO strongly supported the bill as a matter of basic fairness. Under the reasoning of the business community, employers can and should maintain absolute secrecy with regard to individual employees’ pay rates. If companies are discriminating against women or minorities, all they have to do to get away with it in Texas courts is keep the information on differing pay secret for 180 days.
When a scholar of the British Empire criticized the Texas AFL-CIO and its president, Becky Moeller, for supporting HB 535 -- the "Buy Texan, Buy American" bill that was vetoed by Gov. Rick Perry -- he argued the state labor federation has supported "protectionism" and draped itself in the American flag.
Moeller responded to that novel accusation with this op-ed column in the June 14 Austin American-Statesman. She said labor won't apologize for standing up for Texas and American jobs, and pointed up that labor's primary purpose is to fight for good jobs that build the middle class.
A major water development bill signed into law includes a "Buy American" provision creating a preference for American iron, steel and manufactured products in contracts for future Texas water projects.
Gov. Rick Perry signed HB 4. Perry had vetoed a different "Buy American" bill, but the water bill was a top leadership priority in this year's legislative session.
Gov. Rick Perry vetoed HB 535, the "Buy Texan, Buy American" bill that would have promoted state purchase of Texas and American manufactured goods.
Perry gave as his reason for the veto: "Current law already requires state agencies to give preference to goods produced and grown in Texas. While I support and encourage our agencies to buy goods from Texas businesses, this bill simply does not change current law.”
But HB 535 included an expanded definition of "manufactured goods" and also a new provision requiring the Comptroller to participate in promotion of Texas-made and American-made products. Texas AFL-CIO President Becky Moeller said Perry's veto indicates he "won't stand up for American jobs."
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