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DGA Chair Shumlin Statement on Equal Pay Day

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Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, Chair of the Democratic Governors Association, today issued the following statement on Equal Pay Day:
“On Equal Pay Day, we are reminded that when women succeed, America succeeds. Pay equity is not just a women’s issue, it’s an economic security issue for all of our families. It’s also a matter of fairness that reflects our values. Unfortunately, Republican governors like Scott Walker and Chris Christie have shown their true colors by denying women equal pay for equal work. Yet again, they’ve stood shoulder-to-shoulder with their Republican allies in Congress, who refuse to even bring the Paycheck Fairness Act to a vote. Democratic governors will continue their bipartisan efforts to strengthen the middle class and expand economic opportunity, which must include ensuring that women are paid equally for their work.”
Walker Repealed Equal Pay for Equal Work Law. “Walker repealed the ‘Equal Pay Enforcement Act,’ which was passed in 2009 when Democrats controlled the Legislature. It allowed discriminated workers who have already proven their case to a state agency to then sue their employer in state circuit court for compensatory and punitive damages up to $300,000.” [Associated Press, 5/15/12]
Christie Vetoed Legislation Intended To Equalize Pay For Women, Calling It “Senseless Bureaucracy”. “[Christie] said it was ‘senseless bureaucracy’ to require government contractors to report more employee information, including information about gender and compensation, and he vetoed a measure that would have mandated such reporting.” [PolitiFact, 10/17/13]

  •  PolitiFact: “Experts Said The Measure Would Have Improved Equal Pay For Women.” “Yasemin Besen-Cassino, a Montclair State University sociology professor, conducted research on New Jersey’s gender gap with the American Association of University Women. She said the bill Christie vetoed would’ve helped narrow the wage divide. ‘A lot of women claim they just don’t know how much men make,’ Besen-Cassino said. ‘One of the things that we found in our research was that making it public and at least available to a third party would push corporations toward equal pay.’ […] New Mexico passed legislation a couple of years ago requiring contractors to report pay equity information. Fatima Goss Graves, National Women’s Law Center vice president for education and employment, said the law has proven to be uncontroversial there. Vermont also has a similar law.” [PolitiFact, 10/17/13]