NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional 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
1/17/2018

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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