Texas Lunch Links: Equal Pay for Women, Corporate Prison Bail Outs, and Outmaneuvering Perry

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Texas Lunch links is a daily collection of Texas-related news and views, with a heavy focus on happenings at the Texas Legislature.

RAINY DAY FUNDS: Did the Texas Senate just outsmart Rick Perry and the House with its Rainy Day Fund compromise bill?

PRIVATE PRISON BAIL OUT: In a sign that the speculative prison-building may be slowing in Texas, for-profit prison company Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) has approached the normally tight-fisted Texas Legislature with a request to bail out its infamous Mineral Wells facility and the CCA Dawson State Jail. Jones County is also hoping for a handout from the Texas Legislature. The County is hoping Texas lawmakers will purchase its empty prison which the Austin American Statesman has dubbed the “Jail to nowhere”.

TEXAS' LILLY LEDBETTER BILL: The Texas House passed, on a first reading, the Lilly Ledbetter fair pay act for Texas. The bill would make it easier for many Texans who suffer wage discrimination to seek restitution. If you don't know Lilly Ledbetter's story, watch it below the fold. 65 Texas House members voted against the bill.

Read about payday loans, guns on college campuses, solitary confinement, and the Texas Lotter in today's Texas Lunch Links below the fold!PAYDAY LOANS: The Statesman Editorial Board posted a narrative of the payday lending fight to date and suggests that, after the round of amendments on the Senate floor this week, Republican Senator John Carona's SB 1247 is “a good bill.”

GUNS ON COLLEGE CAMPUSES: Indicating that it won't get a committee hearing, Senate Criminal Justice Committee Chairman John Whitmire, a Democrat from Houston a bill that would allow concealed handgun license holders to bring guns into college classrooms effectively dead this session.

SOLITARY CONFINEMENT: Anthony Graves, a death row exoneree who spent 12 years in prison, opines in support of two bills that would reform administrative segregation policies in Texas prisons in today's Houston Chronicle. He writes about his personal experience in isolation and suggests solitary confinement “is simply a tool to break a man's spirit – it doesn't make him better or our communities safer.”

RED LIGHT CAMERAS: Amid a public backlash, Red Light Cameras are being shut off in several Texas towns and cities.

LOTTERY: On Wednesday, one day after Texas House lawmakers axed the Texas lottery and then reversed course, the House gave final approval to a bill that would extend the life of the Texas Lottery Commission.


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