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Abbott targets hiring in latest federal lawsuit

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) - The state has sued the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission over claims that federal guidelines hamstring employers from excluding convicted felons when hiring.

The lawsuit filed Monday is the 30th that Republican Attorney General Greg Abbott has filed against the Obama administration. Abbott is running to replace Gov. Rick Perry in 2014 and frequently boasts on campaign stops about suing the government.

Abbott says federal guidelines put state agencies in conflict with Texas law when it comes to hiring for jobs like state troopers and jailers.

A spokeswoman for federal commission says it doesn't have the authority to prohibit employers from obtaining or using arrest or conviction records.  Christine Nazer says the commission is only trying to ensure the information isn't used in a discriminatory way.

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