Advocates push for pay equity law ahead of deadline


Jackson, Miss. (WJTV) — Lawmakers and advocates, men and women, met at the Mississippi State Capitol building Tuesday afternoon. They’re pushing to get a pay equity law on the books.

Advocates say Mississippi is one of two states that don’t have a pay equity law. They also say Mississippi women working full time, year round typically make 75 cents for every $1 paid to men.

Cassandra Welchlin is has been fighting for a pay equity law for years, “And while higher education and technical training are key to moving women to economic security, that alone does not close the wage gap.”

At least 7 bills were drafted in the House regarding equal pay this session. House Bill 717 has garnered a good deal of support. But the bill, authored by Rep. Tracy Arnold, was referred to 2 committees and failed to come up in either one Tuesday.

“At this point in time, the bill has to come out of those two committees before the deadline today or that bill dies,” says Rep. Arnold. “We need more public outcry, in my opinion, to get involved in this.”

Speaker of the House Philip Gunn could still call the bill forward before the deadline tonight, but advocates say, if they have to, they’ll continue the fight next year.

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