Indiana leaders are asking lawmakers to pass legislation addressing the state’s wage gap. A coalition of lawmakers and civic groups met at the Statehouse Wednesday to support two bills proposed this session.
The bills would address wage inequity by holding employers more accountable, and giving the Indiana Civil Rights Commission authority to investigate employee complaints about pay gaps.
Rep. Linda Lawson (D-Hammond), author of House Bill 1390, says Indiana is one of the bottom ten states in the nation for wage equality.
“We should care about the women who live in this state,” Lawson says. “How is it other states care so much, and we care so little?”
Sen. Jean Breaux (D-Indianapolis) authored Senate Bill 93. She says the debate over wage inequality has been going on for too long.
“Please, let’s once and for all make it possible for women to live in quality and equality in the state of Indiana,” Breaux says.
Representatives from several civic groups attended the rally in support of the measures, including the Indiana League of Women Voters, the American Association of University Women and the Indiana State Conference of NAACP.
A report released last year says Indiana’s wage gap increased to 26 percent in 2016. That gap is even larger for minorities.