Youth-championed legislation in Olympia that would prohibit gender-based price discrimination is extremely popular with Washington voters, the Northwest Progressive Institute’s most recent statewide survey has found.
67% of 874 likely voters interviewed earlier this month by Public Policy Polling voiced support for prohibiting people or businesses “from charging different prices for two substantially similar goods based on the gender of the persons to whom the goods are marketed,” which is what Senate Bill 5171 would do if enacted. 59% were strongly supportive and another 8% were somewhat supportive.
22% said they were opposed to the idea, while 11% said they were not sure.
SB 5171 passed the Washington State Senate on March 7th by a vote of 27 to 21. It is being heard this afternoon in the House Committee on Consumer Protection & Business. To advance, it must be reported out with a “do pass” recommendation before the cut-off on Wednesday, March 29th.
Prime-sponsored by Senator Manka Dhingra, the bill is notable for being youth-organized. Students from Lake Washington High School in Kirkland brought the legislation to Senator Dhingra, who made it one of her 2023 priorities. A companion bill was introduced by Representative Sharlett Mena in the House of Representatives and had a hearing in late January, but did not advance.
Here’s the text of the question we asked and the responses we received:
QUESTION: Do you strongly support, somewhat support, somewhat oppose, or strongly oppose passing a law that prohibits businesses from charging different prices for any two goods that are substantially similar based on gender?
- Support: 67%
- Strongly support: 59%
- Somewhat support: 8%
- Oppose: 22%
- Somewhat oppose: 6%
- Strongly oppose: 16%
- Not sure: 11%
Our survey of 874 likely 2024 Washington State voters was in the field from Tuesday, March 7th through Wednesday, March 8th, 2023.
The poll utilizes a blended methodology, with automated phone calls to landlines (50%) and online answers from cell phone only respondents (50%).
It was conducted by Public Policy Polling for the Northwest Progressive Institute, and has a margin of error of +/- 3.3% at the 95% confidence interval.
With a support to opposition ratio of over 3:1, this is legislation that ought to have bipartisan support. However, Republicans uniformly opposed the bill on the floor of the Washington State Senate, which is disappointing.
It might interest them and their House colleagues to know that a plurality of Republican voters support barring gender-based price discrimination.
Specifically, 41% of Republican voters Public Policy Polling interviewed for us said they supported prohibiting businesses from charging different prices for any two goods that are substantially similar based on gender. 38% said they were opposed and 21% were not sure. That’s significant. Independent voters were also very enthusiastic, with 59% of them expressing support for the bill along with 87% of Democratic voters (80% strongly supportive, 7% somewhat).
Every region of the state is likewise supportive, even Republican-oriented Eastern and Central Washington, where support totals 54%.
The Washington Retail Association regrettably opposes SB 5171 and plans to testify against the bill today. The Washington Food Industry Association, which previously signed in against the bill, has signed in as “Other” for today’s House hearing. The Northwest Grocery Association and Walgreens are also opposed.
Joining the Northwest Progressive Institute and Lake Washington High students in supporting the bill are Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s office, the Association of Washington Assistant Attorneys General (AWAAG), the Washington State Association for Justice, Planned Parenthood Alliance Advocates, Statewide Poverty Action Network, Hopelink, and the ACLU of Washington State.
Hopefully, the House will give this sensible legislation the opportunity to be considered on the floor and presented to Governor Jay Inslee for his signature. As far as most voters are concerned, SB 5171 ought to be the law of the land already.
The candidates tore into each other but the big orange cheese — Donald Trump— once…
"I have decided to depart the House at the end of this year to serve…
NPI's proposal to allow cities and towns to move their regularly scheduled elections to even…
The week's major votes included House passage of resolutions expressing solidarity with Israel and legislation…
Culp, who used to be employed by Republic as a policeman, denounced Reichert in a…
Washington's thrilling win in Las Vegas was a result that a lot of commentators just…