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House Leader Pelosi Visits Austin, Promotes Equality for Women

Photo by: Marjorie Kamys Cotera/Texas Tribune
March 6th, 2012: Protest against Texas lawmakers decision regarding changed to the the Women's Health Program. the federal government is expected to cut funding for the program because Texas improperly excluded Planned Parenthood

House Leader Nancy Pelosi was in Austin today with one central message: There’s still work to be done on women’s equality in the workforce. 

She spoke at Austin Community College’s Eastview Campus Monday. Her visit comes on the anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, which guarantees women the right to vote. It was adopted into the U.S. Constitution on Aug. 26, 1920.

Congresswoman Pelosi is urging support for a number of initiatives: "The equal pay, the paid medical leave, and the childcare aspects of the difference that we have to make. We’ve already passed the Affordable Care Act. These are bills that we must pass and I hope that we can do so with your support," she said.

Texas lawmakers recently passed a bill -- House Bill 950 -- that would have mirrored the federal Lilly Ledbetter Act of 2009, which was the first legislation that President Barack Obama passed into law. The Texas version would have given people here more time to sue their employers over pay discrimination in state courts.

But in June, Gov. Rick Perry vetoed the measure. In a written statement, he said, "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."

According to Census Bureau data from 2012, the wage gap between Texas men and women working full time, year round, is roughly $8,000 a year.