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Stand Up for Equal Pay in Kentucky

This Equal Pay Day, the Kentucky Democratic Party is proud to join the fight for “equal pay for equal work”. Until the average woman’s pay is the same as what a man makes for performing the same job, the wage gap will continue to be one of the most persistent violations of fairness in American society. Nationally, women earn 76.5 cents for every dollar that a man makes. In Kentucky, women earn only 76 cents for every dollar a man makes. This stark disparity distinguishes Kentucky as having the 39th largest wage gap in the U.S.- 24 cents. In other words, while the average man made $42,321 in Kentucky in 2012, the average female earned only $32,157. This gap is unacceptable, and Kentucky clearly has some significant ground to make up.

Kentucky women, unfortunately, will not find in ally in the Republican Party. While Democrats have been fighting tirelessly for equal pay and a living wage, Republicans in Washington and in Frankfort have fought any initiatives that would work to close the wage gap. In Washington, Kentucky’s senior Senator, Mitch McConnell, has repeatedly voted against equal pay measures- having blocked the Lily Ledbetter Fair Pay Act multiple times. Kentucky Republicans follow the same playbook as Senator McConnell and Washington Republicans. House Bill 1, which would raise the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour, was introduced by Speaker Stumbo at the beginning of the 2014 General Assembly. Equal pay provisions were included in HB 1 in an effort to close the wage gap.

House Bill 1 passed the House with virtually no support from Republicans only to be stalled in the Republican-controlled Senate. Again in this instance, Kentucky Republicans voted against women and against hardworking Kentucky families. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act tomorrow, and Senate Republicans are expected to, as they did in 2012, block it from going forward.

If you are sick and tired of the GOP’s antiquated and out of touch attitude towards women and their refusal to act on closing the gender pay gap, join us in celebrating Equal Pay Day. Fight back on Twitter and Facebook. Call Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul to let them know that you support the Paycheck Fairness Act, and urge that they do the same. Sign this petition to tell Congress that women deserve equal pay for equal work. Together, we can make the gender wage gap a thing of the past.