NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's uplifting perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018

Equal pay for equal work easily clears the Washington State House again

More progress out of Olympia to report today.

The Wash­ing­ton State House of Rep­re­sen­ta­tives has once again over­whelm­ing­ly approved a bill that would address pay inequity in the work­place, send­ing its ver­sion over to the Sen­ate, where it is cer­tain to get a bet­ter recep­tion than in the past thanks to the cham­ber’s new Demo­c­ra­t­ic majority.

2SHB 1506 is prime spon­sored by Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Tana Senn (D‑41st Dis­trict: Mer­cer Island, Belle­vue, New­cas­tle, Renton).

“At a junc­ture in time, when we have removed the shroud of silence on sex­u­al harass­ment, so must we elim­i­nate the secre­cy around wages,” Senn said dur­ing floor debate. Sen­n’s bill would ban pay secre­cy poli­cies and make it much eas­i­er for women in the work­place to dis­cuss their com­pen­sa­tion with each oth­er. It also pro­hibits employ­ers from retal­i­at­ing against employ­ees for hav­ing such dis­cus­sions or for inquir­ing about their pay. It is long over­due legislation.

The vote on final pas­sage was six­ty-nine to twen­ty-eight. All Demo­c­ra­t­ic mem­bers vot­ed in favor, while the Repub­li­can cau­cus was split.

The roll call was as follows:

2SHB 1506
Workplaces/gender pay equity
House vote on Final Passage

Yeas: 69, Nays: 28, Excused: 1

Vot­ing Yea: Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Apple­ton, Bergquist, Blake, Caldier, Chap­man, Clib­born, Cody, Doglio, Dolan, Eslick, Fey, Fitzgib­bon, Frame, Good­man, Graves, Gregerson, Grif­fey, Haler, Hansen, Har­ris, Hayes, Hud­gins, Jink­ins, John­son, Kagi, Kil­duff, Kir­by, Klo­ba, Kraft, Lovick, Lyt­ton, MacEwen, Macri, McBride, McCabe, McDon­ald, Mor­ris, Muri, Orms­by, Ortiz-Self, Orwall, Pel­lic­ciot­ti, Peter­son, Pet­ti­grew, Pol­let, Reeves, Ric­cel­li, Robin­son, Rodne, Ryu, San­tos, Sawyer, Sells, Senn, Slat­ter, Smith, Springer, Stam­baugh, Stan­ford, Steele, Stonier, Sul­li­van, Tar­leton, Tharinger, Valdez, Walsh, Wylie, Young, Speak­er Chopp

Vot­ing Nay: Rep­re­sen­ta­tives Barkis, Buys, Chan­dler, Con­dot­ta, DeBolt, Dent, Dye, Har­grove, Harmsworth, Holy, Irwin, Jenkin, Klip­pert, Kretz, Kris­tiansen, Man­weller, May­cum­ber, McCaslin, Orcutt, Pike, Schmick, Shea, Stokes­bary, Tay­lor, Van Wer­ven, Vick, Volz, Wilcox

Excused: Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Nealey

Most of the Repub­li­cans vot­ing in oppo­si­tion to 2SHB 1506 were men, although there were a few Repub­li­can women opposed, notably Liz Pike, who deliv­ered a rather harsh and hyper­bol­ic speech in oppo­si­tion short­ly before the vote.

Found­ing NPI board­mem­ber and Major­i­ty Floor Leader Gael Tar­leton (D‑36th Dis­trict: Seat­tle) sub­se­quent­ly rose and elo­quent­ly spoke to the need for the bill just before Speak­er Pro Tem Tina Orwall opened the roll call machine.

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