In Recognition of Equal Pay Day, State Innovation Exchange Points to Unprecedented Momentum in the States for Closing the Wage Gap

April 2016

DENVER – In acknowledgment of Equal Pay Day, which marks the day this year when a working woman’s pay finally catches up to what men earned last year, the State Innovation Exchange (SiX) – a resource and strategy center that supports legislators in advancing progressive policies at the state level – released the following statement from SiX Executive Director Nick Rathod:

“With millions of women across the country serving as the sole or primary breadwinner for their families, it is shameful that the average working woman still earns only 79 cents for every dollar a man takes home. For women of color in the workplace, the pay gap is even wider. Far too many hardworking Americans already live paycheck to paycheck, fighting tooth and nail to save up for a home or retire with dignity. The last thing we need is to be making matters worse by denying women hundreds of thousands of dollars in lost wages over the course of their lifetime. We need equal pay, and we need it now.

“President Obama has made this issue a top priority from the moment he took office – the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the very first bill he signed into law. But with Congress in a state of perpetual gridlock, there’s only so much that can be done at the federal level. It’s time for states to lead the way on equal pay – and that is exactly what they’re doing. We saw what can happen when we work together: in late January, progressive legislators led an unprecedented nationwide push that resulted in equal pay legislation moving forward in nearly half of the states. This year alone, no fewer than 70 equal pay bills have been introduced in more than 30 states – even in the reddest of red states like Oklahoma, where many Republicans crossed the aisle to pass equal pay legislation in the House. Today, legislators and advocates alike are keeping that momentum going with Equal Pay Day events and activities across the country. We’re proud to stand alongside them on behalf of women and working families.”