The Lead
8:45 am
Mon March 11, 2013

The Lead: SXSW in Full Swing, Breastfeeding Bills, Electric Bikes

It's feeling like a spring break week in Austin with highs in the 60s and 70s. And, of course, South by Southwest is in full swing.

Lead Story: Tens of thousands of badge-toting visitors are in town for "South by." That may mean some traffic congestion. Check out this interactive map of road closures to help guide you through it.

South by Southwest Interactive and Film continue as preparations for the Music portion of the festival ramp up. Music starts tomorrow.

And have you heard of South by Southwest Comedy? Comedy events including standup and improv shows are part of the film offerings – with nearly a dozen events today alone.

Breastfeeding Bills: Breastfeeding in public will be an issue before the Texas legislature this week. State Rep. Armando Walle (D-Houston) filed a bill that would require reasonable accommodations for salaried government employees to pump breast milk at work.

Walle says hourly employees already have that right under federal law.

“It’s important particularly for work productivity and to be able to have a mother go back to work sooner, to be more productive, but also at the end of the day to have a healthy baby and a healthy mother," Walle said.

A public hearing on the bill is set for tomorrow.

A separate bill filed by State Rep. Jessica Farrar (D-Houston) would allow women to sue if they are harassed for breastfeeding in public.

Electric Bike Rebates: Austin Energy is encouraging you to buy an electric bike. The public utility is offering rebates of between $50 and $300 on electric mopeds, scooters, bikes and Segways.

“We provide rebates for several programs that help reduce customers’ energy costs and this is just one of them," Austin Energy Spokesman Carlos Cordova said.

The amount of the rebate depends on the value of the electric bike. It generally works out to about a ten percent savings. You have to buy from an authorized dealer. You can find out more at pluginpartners.com.