FEMA Funding, Work-Life Balance, Redistricting Louisville, and Dracula: Today on Here and Now

by Laura Ellis on September 22, 2011

1:06pm: There’s a chance that FEMA could run out of disaster relief money next week and the federal government could shut down next month, because of a dispute over disaster funding in Congress. Last night, democrats and conservative republicans unexpectedly joined forces to kill a stop-gap government funding bill because the measure budgeted for an increase for FEMA’s dwindling disaster fund. Tea Party conservatives were angry that not enough money was cut elsewhere in the budget. Democrats didn’t like that House leaders chose to cut a program to improve fuel efficient cars. So now lawmakers, who are slated for a recess next week, are scrambling to find a solution and there are lots of questions being asked about why this came to pass. Gail Chaddock, congressional correspondent for the Christian Science Monitor, joins us to explain.

In a recent court ruling in favor of the financial media firm, Bloomberg LP, New York judge Loretta Preska said the “the law does not mandate work-life balance.” The case had been brought by the federal government on behalf of 65 women who said the company had discriminated against them in pay and promotions after they took maternity leaves. Judge Preska ruled against the women, saying there was no evidence of any systematic discrimination at the company. In her 64-page opinion, Judge Preska admitted that women who ask for flexibility in their schedules were, “likely at a disadvantage in a demanding culture like Bloomberg’s,” but that was also true for men who asked for schedule flexibility. “In the free-market system we embrace,” wrote Preska, “if you make choices that preference your family over your work, that has consequences in a company like Bloomberg,” which explicitly expects all-out dedication. We’ll talk about the ruling with Stephanie Coontz, professor of History and Family Studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, and Co-
Chair of the non-partisan, non-profit Council on Contemporary Families.

1:35pm: Attorney Gerald Hebert is an expert in redistricting issues, contracted by Louisville Metro Government to review and make recommendations on the 26 proposed redistricting maps. He recently finished his review and reported to Metro Government that the maps fairly represent minorities in the community. Hebert tells WFPL’s Devin Katayama he sees voting polarization happening in Louisville, but that’s not unique.

1:50pm: A Halloween tradition continues at Actors Theatre of Louisville. Dracula is now in its seventeenth year, and this year, a new actor is wearing the fangs. We’ll speak with Rufio Lerma about his approach to playing such an iconic character, and ask director William McNulty why vampire stories — and this production in particular — are so timeless.

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