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Davis Accuses Abbott Of Dodging Equal Pay For Women Question

Ryan Poppe/David Martin Davies
TPR News

Looking more and more like a general election that's in full swing, gubernatorial opponents Wendy Davis and Greg Abbott took shots at each other this week over Abbott’s response to a question about an equal-pay for women bill that was vetoed by Governor Rick Perry following this past session.   

The Texas Equal Pay Act for Women passed with bipartisan support but was vetoed by Governor Perry after he received a letter from several large Texas retailers who were concerned about its potential effects.  In an interview airing on Dallas’ ABC-affiliate WFAA, Greg Abbott was asked how he would’ve handled the situation.

Abbott responded, "As a father, as a husband of a wife who has been involved in the workforce here in Texas, I fully expect women to be paid what men are paid.” 

Abbott said, “Under the current labor code in the State of Texas, there is a specific statutory prohibition, a specific law in the State of Texas that prevents discrimination on the basis of sex in any type of employment, and I will ensure that women will not be discriminated in any way on pay because of their sex.” 

But Wendy Davis has taken issue with that response, saying that her Republican opponent didn’t answer the question, which was about whether Abbott would’ve vetoed the same bill.

Davis countered, “Greg Abbott needs to stop dodging and give a straight answer about his opposition to the Texas Equal Pay Act. Hardworking Texans deserve to know if he believes in this simple principal that a full day's work is worth a full day’s pay no matter what your gender.” 

Davis went on to say, "With more and more families relying on two paychecks, they cannot afford to have one of their paychecks unfairly reduced just because they are a woman." 

The bill that was sponsored by Davis mirrored an existing federal law, but would allow Texas women to file a lawsuit against a company committing wage-discrimination in state court, thus foregoing the more costly and sometimes lengthy federal lawsuit, which at this present day is Texas women's only option is they feel they have been unfairly paid because of their gender.