So there we were. In the anteroom of the House. Talking to George and the rest of the amazing staff. Waiting on Legislators to return from morning committee meetings so that we could send in the purple slips and ask our citizen Legislators to come out and chat with us about the gender wage gap and HB0084.
As a brief aside: this is why we love the Legislature so much. The people are amazing. The access is incredible. It feels like change is possible at the same time that it feels like you've stepped into a bygone era. But we digress.
We sent in purple slips for hours. Talked to nearly two dozen Representatives. Had conversations of varying depth (not to mention outcome). And then came the vote. But, before the vote: An amendment.
The amendment effectively gutted the bill; Minority Floor Leader Connolly said as much. The proponents of the amendment--most of whom indicated support of women, gender equity, and even other wage gap bills--signaled their distaste for additional regulation, expressed their concern for adding reporting requirements to private business, discounted the existence of or reason for the gender wage gap.
Standing vote on the amendment.
Then it was announced: The amendment fails on a tie vote.
The bill moved on to third reading.
So, here is the thing: HB0084 Wage equality - state employees and programs lives to fight another day. BUT ONLY IF YOU FIGHT FOR IT.
We've told you all the reasons that what is good for women is good for Wyoming and we'll tell you again: Closing the pay gap means all good things for women, families, and communities. Hundreds of new jobs, hundreds of millions of dollars. Money in the pockets of women--hard-earned money for well-done work--means more money in all of our Equality State communities.
ps--If you are a business owner, we'd especially encourage you to let them know that you support this bill.