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Equal pay for women dies without a vote

Women nationwide have been taking to any forum to press for equal pay with men. In Mississippi, it looks like they’ll wait another year to get it.
Women nationwide have been taking to any forum to press for equal pay with men. In Mississippi, it looks like they’ll wait another year to get it. AP

Bills that would have required employers to pay women equal pay for the same jobs as their male counterparts have died again in the Mississippi Legislature.

The Democratic Caucus issued their obituaries Tuesday afternoon.

“Despite strong bipartisan effort and all evidence regarding the wisdom and benefits of ensuring equal pay for equal work, there will be no pay equity law passed by the Mississippi Legislature in 2017,” the caucus said in an email statement from Chairman David Baria, D-Bay St. Louis, and Reps. Sonya Williams-Barnes, D-Gulfport, and Bryant Clark, D-Pickens.

The caucus said they tried to maneuver the bill out of committee by suspending House rules. That effort failed on a partisan vote 47-72 with Democrat Rep. Angela Cockerham joining Republicans in opposition, the caucus said. On Monday, Rep. Mark Baker, one of the committee chairmen who didn’t let a pay equity bill out of committee, objected to having a vote to suspend the rules, killing another effort at bypassing the committees.

Republican Treasurer Lynn Fitch had backed a bill by Republican Rep. Becky Currie seeking pay equity as did Republican Rep. Carolyn Crawford of Pass Christian and GOP Sen. Tammy Witherspoon. Baria and Crawford were co-authors of that bill. Democratic Rep. Orlando Paden of Clarksdale also backed it in a press release sent by Fitch’s office.

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