This is when it crystallized.
Right around 8:55pm, after 12 straight hours of listening to the 65th Legislature express their contempt - both implicit and explicit - for women. They made jokes about women. They belittled women. They questioned women. They vilified women. They failed to notice, at times, that they were doing any of those things. As though casual misogyny is just the air that they breathe.
Then, right at the end of the day, to add insult to injury: They refused to pay women.
The House rejected a raise to the minimum wage. Two-thirds of the workers who would benefit from an increase in the minimum wage are working women. Senate Transportation, by a vote of 3-2, rejected a bill on the wage gap that would have asked businesses to track and disclose their wage gaps in exchange for receiving state funds.
Quantitative, qualitative, and anecdotal data all demonstrate that when women have more economic resources, we invest them in our families, our communities, our education, our health, and we make change. We make life better for everyone.
As painful as the rest of it was to listen to - rejection of an expansion of health coverage that would benefit working women and families, claiming that doctors lie about the abortions they perform, parsing whether a woman might falsely claim rape as a way to seek custody in a contentious divorce case - the systematic denial of access to better wages is by far the worst. Because economic security changes everything. When we have resources, we gain skills. We increase opportunity. We achieve autonomy. We secure power.
This is why economic security has been and will continue to be at the forefront of the bills and policies that we champion.
We look forward to fighting for economic security alongside you. We'll get up and do it again tomorrow.