BATON ROUGE – The Louisiana State Senate today passed a bill designed to close the gender pay gap, calling on employers to compensate women with equal pay for equal work. Sponsored by state Sen. JP Morrell, SB 254 cleared the senate on a vote of 28-10, despite the resistance by a cadre of GOP lawmakers. Sen. Barrow Peacock (R, Bossier), Sen. Norby Chabert (R, Houma), and Sen. Neil Riser (R, Columbia), along with seven other Republicans, bowed to the demands of corporate special interests and voted against the mothers and daughters of Louisiana.
Louisiana currently ranks at the absolute bottom of national rankings for gender pay equality, coming in 51st place behind every other state and the District of Columbia. Women in Louisiana make scarcely .66 cents for every dollar a man brings home. Despite making up more than half the state’s workforce and functioning as the breadwinner for nearly 40% of the families in our state, Louisiana women continue to be undervalued and under-compensated. Morrell’s bill, strongly supported by Gov. John Bel Edwards and a range of responsible lawmakers, addresses that inequity.
“Today we saw the majority of our state senators do the right thing and stand up for women in Louisiana,” said Stephen Handwerk, executive director of the Louisiana Democratic Party. “Unfortunately, some lawmakers care more about their corporate special interests than about equal rights for their mothers and daughters. This vote puts their priorities in sharp contrast with the Louisiana family values embraced by Gov. Edwards and the Democratic Party.”