Repeal of women’s pay equity excluded from omnibus bill in Minnesota
Image has not been found. URL: http://images.americanindependent.com/2010/08/MahurinPointing_Thumb6.jpgAccording to DFL Reps. Marion Greene of Minneapolis and Erin Murphy of St. Paul, Republicans have pulled a repeal of pay equity from the omnibus state government operations bill. The controversial provision, termed the Local Government Pay Equity Act, would have eliminated a mechanism that ensures equal pay for women working for local government units.
“Pay equity for women is a serious issue that unfortunately still needs to be addressed,” Greene said in a statement. “This year, some legislators have addressed the issue by moving us backwards. Since HF7 was introduced my DFL colleagues and I have fought this bill and stood for equal pay for women.”
HF7 passed the Government Operations and Elections committee on Wednesday by a party line vote, but the provision that would have repealed pay equity was pulled. HF7 was the original bill containing the repeal and is now the larger omnibus state government bill.
“When white women earn 76 cents on the dollar compared to their male counterparts in 2011 and the disparity is even worse for women of color, we cannot be idle,” Greene added.
The Minnesota Independent first reported on the bill in February when it was included in a larger bill which repealed a variety of local government mandates. Later that month, a series of greater Minnesota newspapers came out strongly against the measure.
“The Senate author called the bill to repeal pay equity ‘really stupid’ when he pulled the legislation,” Greene said, referring to Sen. John Carlson, R-Bemidji, who dropped the bill in the Senate and said it “would not see the light of day.”
“Women and girls across the state waited too long for Rep. [Steve] Drazkowski, the House author, to listen to our call to pull his bill,” she said. Drazkowski apparently heeded that call on Wednesday when the repeal was eliminated.
“Equality is not a partisan issue — it is an American ideal,” said Rep. Murphy. “We are glad we have removed this backwards provision, however work remains. In terms of equal pay for equal work, women in Minnesota are not yet equal. This issue demands our continued diligence. Minnesota’s pay equity law is one form of that diligence.”