LANSING – House Republicans took an Orwellian approach to addressing the issue of equal pay for women this week. Instead of using Equal Pay Day to highlight that women still only make 77 cents for every dollar a man makes, Republicans simply erased all the facts related to the issue from a resolution spotlighting the continuing problem.
“Trying to hide that there is a serious wage gap issue for women by erasing the facts is not going to make the problem go away,” said State Representative Kristy Pagan (D-Canton), the lead sponsor of the Equal Pay Day Resolution. “Millions of women and their families in Michigan take a hit in their paychecks every day by the wage gap and this is not going away just because republicans want to silence their stories. Rather than trying to ignore the facts, I am calling on Speaker Cotter to hold a legislative hearing to examine pay inequity statistics and hear firsthand accounts from women who are affected by the pay gap.”
The Republican version of the resolution removed all facts regarding wages, including U.S. Census Bureau numbers indicating that full-time working women earned 77 percent as much as full-time working men in 2010.
“There’s been a lot of rhetoric from the Republican Caucus this session about taking the emotion out of the issues and discussing the facts,” said State Representative and Chair of the Michigan Progressive Women’s Legislative Caucus Winnie Brinks (D-Grand Rapids.) “We’re prepared to have an honest and productive conversation about the facts of the very real problem of unfair pay for women and how that impacts Michigan families. I look forward to the Speaker scheduling a hearing on the issue of unfair pay for women and how we can address the issue sooner rather than later. Frankly, it’s long past time that we moved legislation that gives women and their families the tools to combat pay discrimination against women.”