Gender Pay Equity Bill Receives Strong Bipartisan Support in the Missouri Legislature


Jefferson City, MO – The Women’s Foundation’s public policy agenda addressing the gender pay gap in Missouri is gaining momentum as more legislators have expressed their public support for HB 44, filed by Rep. Stephen Webber (D-Columbia).  Women in Missouri make 71 cents to the dollar men make, according to a recent research study by the Women’s Foundation, and these bills would establish best practice guidelines towards solving this issue.  

“Equal pay for equal work means a stronger economy for all Missourians,” said Rep. Webber. “It’s great to see bipartisan support for this commonsense legislation.”

“This bill allows men and women to come together to find solutions for Missouri’s pay gap problem,” said Rep. Sheila Solon (R-Blue Springs).

“Equal pay for women will drive the state’s economy,” said Rep. Caleb Jones (R-Columbia).

Today, on Equal Pay Day, the newest cosponsors of HB 44 include:  

  1. Lauren Arthur - Democrat, District 18, Kansas City
  2. Jon Carpenter - Democrat, District 15, Gladstone
  3. Robert Cornejo - Republican, District 64, St. Peters
  4. Brandon Ellington - Democrat, District 22, Kansas City
  5. Paul Fitzwater - Republican, District 144, Potosi
  6. Elijah Haahr – Republican, District 134, Springfield
  7. Denny Hoskins - Republican, District 54, Warrensburg
  8. Caleb Jones – Republican, District 50, Columbia
  9. Jeanne Kirkton -Democrat, District 91, Webster Groves
  10. Sharon Pace - Democrat, District 74, St. Louis
  11. Joshua Peters - Democrat, District 76, St. Louis
  12. Tracy McCreery - Democrat, District 88, St. Louis
  13. Kevin McManus - Democrat, District 36, Kansas City
  14. Margo McNeil - Democrat, District 69, Florissant
  15. Bonnaye Mims - Democrat, District 27, Kansas City
  16. Judy Morgan - Democrat, District 24, Kansas City
  17. Mary Nichols - Democrat, District 72, Maryland Heights
  18. Bill Otto - Democrat, District 70, Maryland Heights
  19. Lyle Rowland - Republican, District 155, Cedar Creek
  20. Sheila Solon - Republican, District 31, Blue Springs
  21. Anne Zerr - Republican, District 65, St. Charles

A research study conducted by the Women’s Foundation, in partnership with the University of Missouri in 2014, showed women in Missouri make 29% less than men for the same work. HB 44 would establish best practice guidelines for businesses to utilize when addressing their gender pay gaps.  The bill had its first hearing in March in front of the Committee for Workforce Standards and Development. Wendy Doyle, President & CEO of the Women’s Foundation, was among several organizational and community leaders from across the state who testified in support of the HB 44.  A copy of her testimony can be found here

A similar bill, SB 144, sponsored by Sen. Paul LeVota (D-Independence) has also been filed in the Senate.  This bill already received an initial hearing, at which the Women’s Foundation testified in support, and is scheduled to have another hearing today (Tuesday, April 14).