Bipartisan Support Moves Bills Forward
Jefferson City, MO – Today, HB 44, filed by Rep. Stephen Webber (Columbia), was passed with bipartisan support out of the House Workforce Standards and Development committee by a vote of 8-0. Two weeks ago, a similar bill, SB 144 sponsored by Sen. Paul LeVota (Independence) passed out of the Senate Small Business Committee with bipartisan backing.
Both HB 44 and SB 144 would establish best practice guidelines for businesses to utilize when addressing the gender pay gap. The movement of these bills represents great progress for the Women’s Foundation public policy agenda in addressing the fact that women in Missouri make only 71 cents to the dollar men make.
“We’re now one step closer to enacting a smart policy solution which will address the gender pay gap and positively impact the lives of Missouri women as well as our economy,” said Wendy Doyle, President & CEO of the Women’s Foundation. “When women succeed, Missouri succeeds.”
“By working together, we have created the opportunity to pass a straightforward policy solution aimed at improving the lives of Missouri women, their families and our economy,” said Rep. Stephen Webber, sponsor of HB 44. “The gender wage gap affects us all and with bipartisan support we will begin to close it.”
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. As part of its work to advance solutions to close this pay gap, the Women’s Foundation has been raising awareness of the problem and cultivating public support for HB 44 and SB 144.
HB 44 currently has 21 House cosponsors. The next steps for the equal pay bills will be a full House or Senate vote.