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BATON ROUGE — Nine Republican lawmakers in the Louisiana House labor committee voted yesterday to deny the women of our state equal pay for equal work. Led by Reps. Clay Schexnayder and Lenar Whitney, House Republicans came down firmly against equality for our sisters, our mothers and our daughters. In a state with the worst pay gap between women and men in the entire country, GOP lawmakers are going out of their way to deny women voters equal pay for equal work.

Louisiana families are suffering while their Republican state representatives are paying lip service to the unfounded fears of their richest backers. Women make up nearly half of the labor force in our state. They are taxpayers and in an increasing number of homes, they are breadwinners. They deserve the dignity of equal treatment under the law on payday.

Instead of supporting equality for women, Whitney and Schexnayder voted with Rep. Lance Harris, who offered the thin hope that “market forces will remedy the situation.” He and his fellow Republicans have made it clear that, given the opportunity to do so, they will not.

“At a time when the pay gap is only widening, Reps. Whitney and Schexnayder owe voters some answers.  Actually they owe all of the women of this state an apology,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “Standing up and fighting for the status quo hurts all families here in Louisiana.  Clearly Whitney and Schexnayder are part of the problem and certainly are not part of the solution.  Voters will remember this in October.”