Gender wage gap bill dies in House

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Mississippi House of Representatives

Rep. Bryant Clark, D-Pickens

The House again Tuesday beat back a move to pull a gender wage gap bill out of committee, but this time Democrats forced a recorded vote on the issue.

It started Monday, when Rep. Bryant Clark, D-Pickens, tried to signal that he wanted to pull an equal pay bill out of committee and put in the calendar for a floor vote.

Speaker Philip Gunn, R- Clinton, denied the motion because Gunn did not see or hear Clark attempt to make his motion at the appropriate time.

Vote on Democratic Rep. Bryant Clark’s motion to bring a pay equity bill out of committee.

Clark asked for unanimous consent to pull the bill out of committee. One male member verbally objected, killing the motion. Clark made the same motion Tuesday, on a critical deadline day. It failed on a vote voice but enough Democrats stood to demand a recorded vote.

The motion failed, 47 to 72. The recorded vote can also be seen here.

Tuesday was the deadline for bills to be passed out of committee to stay alive. Bryant’s effort would have brought the bill to the House floor, thus keeping it alive.

Attempts to pull bills out of committee to be addressed by a full chamber of the House or Senate are rare and few such attempts are successful.

On Monday, state Treasurer Lynn Fitch, one of the most powerful women in Mississippi government, urged legislators to consider several pieces of legislation filed to address wage equity.

“Closing the pay gap is good for Mississippi on so many levels,” Fitch said in a press release.

“For the 78,000 households in poverty headed by single moms, it gives them a fair chance to break the cycle of poverty,” she said. “For the 60 percent of Mississippi university degrees earned by women, it gives them a reason to take jobs in states that protect equal pay for equal work.”

Fitch’s statement on equal pay concluded: “For all Mississippi taxpayers and consumers, it puts another $4 billion back into the economy each year.”

House members who voted not to pull the equal pay bill out of committee. That vote killed the last opportunity for the Mississippi Legislature to take action this year on gender pay equity:

Shane Aguirre, R-Tupelo; William Arnold, R-Booneville; Mark Baker, R-Brandon; Shane Barnett, R-Waynesboro; Manly Barton, R-Moss Point; Charles Beckett, R-Bruce; Donnie Bell, R-Fulton; Richard Bennett, R-Long Beach; Joel Bomgar, R-Madison; Scott Bounds, R-Philadelphia; Randy Boyd, R-Mantachie; Chris Brown, R-Nettleton; Charles Busby, R-Pascagoula; Larry Byrd, R-Petal; Lester Carpenter, R-Burnsville; Gary Chism, R-Columbus; Angela Cockerham, D-Magnolia; John Corley, R-Lumberton; Dana Criswell, R-Olive Branch; Scott DeLano, R-Biloxi; Bill Denny, R-Jackson; Dan Eubanks, R-Walls; Casey Eure, R-Biloxi; Mark Formby, R-Picayune; Robert Foster, R-Love; Andy Gipson, R-Braxton; Jeffrey Guice, R-Ocean Springs; Philip Gunn, R-Clinton; Jeff Hale, R-Nesbit; Greg Haney, R-Gulfport; Ashley Henley, R-Southaven; Joey Hood, R-Ackerman; Steve Hopkins, R-Southaven; Steve Horne, R-Meridian; Mac Huddleston, R-Pontotoc; Chris Johnson, R-Hattiesburg; Bill Kinkade, R-Byhalia; Timmy Ladner, R-Poplarville; Trey Lamar, R-Senatobia; Vince Mangold, R-Jackson; Steve Massengill, R-Hickory Flat; Doug McLeod, R-Lucedale; Roun McNeal, R-Leakesville; Nolan Mettetal, R-Sardis; Sam Mims, R-McComb; Alex Monsour, R-Vicksburg; John Moore, R-Brandon; Ken Morgan, R-Morgantown; Karl Oliver, R-Winona; Randall Patterson, R-Biloxi; Bill Pigott, R-Tylertown; Brent Powell, R-Brandon; John Read, R-Gautier; Rob Roberson, R-Starkville; Margaret Rogers, R-New Albany; Ray Rogers, R-Pearl; Randy Rushing, R-Decatur; Noah Sanford, R-Collins; Donnie Scoggin, R-Ellisville; William Shirley, R-Quitman; Jeffrey Smith, R-Columbus; Greg Snowden, R-Meridian; Gary Staples, R-Laurel; Jody Steverson, R-Ripley; Brad Touchstone, R-Hattiesburg; Mark Tullos, R-Raleigh; Jerry Turner, R-Baldwin; Tom Weathersby, R-Florence; Jason White, R-West; Patricia Willis, R-Diamondhead; Cory Wilson, R-Madison; Henry Zuber, R-Ocean Springs.