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State lawmakers designate March 14 as 'Equal Pay Day' for women

State lawmakers passed HJR23-1018 or the "Equal Pay Day," by a 47-15 vote on Tuesday morning.

DENVER — State lawmakers are officially designating March 14 as "Equal Pay Day" in Colorado – the House joint resolution passed 47-15 on Tuesday morning. 

Sponsors of the resolution said it's meant to acknowledge the persistent problem of wage disparity. 

As they introduced the resolution, State Representatives Jennifer Bacon and Serena Gonzales-Gutierrez, said it took 39 years for an equal pay bill to be passed in Colorado. They said former representatives Polly Baca and Arie Taylor introduced legislation in 1980 and a policy wasn't passed until 2019

Women in Colorado earn 83 cents on the dollar compared to men, according to the Women's Foundation of Colorado and the Institute for Women's Policy Research. 

"This is the point in time of the year that women catch up in pay to white men," said Gonzales-Gutierrez. 

That means, women have to work around 14 and a half months to earn what a man makes in 12 months. 

Gonzales-Gutierrez said March 14th is the equal pay day for white women. 

She said the LGBTQIA+ community, Black women, moms, Latinas, Indigenous women and Asian American Pacific Islander women's equal pay days are much later in the year. 

"We know that November 30th is actually equal pay day for Indigenous women," said Gonzales-Gutierrez. 

Credit: HJR23-1018

Forty-seven lawmakers voted yes on the 'Equal Pay Day' resolution –15 voted no, including some women. 

Gonzales-Gutierrez said that wasn't a surprise. 

"Our vote was actually a vote for equality but not in the way that you might think," said State Representative Stephanie Luck. 

Luck, along with the four other Republican women in the House, voted no on the resolution. She said there are five total Republican women in the House, and two in the Senate. 

"We have been having conversations with the majority about including us in conversations especially as it relates to women's issues since this is Women's History month," said Luck. 

Luck didn't want to comment on the resolution, but said the Republican female lawmakers in the House felt left out and would like advanced notice so they can contribute to the drafting of these documents. 

"Republican women are still women," said Luck. "There are sometimes things included in those resolutions that maybe we would have a different perspective on."

Gonzales-Gutierrez said all lawmakers have the opportunity to participate in any bill or resolution and that no one was excluded from this one. 

There is an equal pay bill going through the senate right now that Gonzales-Gutierrez and Bacon are also primary sponsors on.



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