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Senate Committee Approves Wage Disparity Study

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A bill to study wage and benefit disparities between men and women in Wyoming unanimously passed the Senate’s Labor, Health, and Social Services Committee on Wednesday.

In April 2016, The National Women’s Law Center released a study that ranked Wyoming as having the third largest lifetime wage gap in the country. The study said because of that gap, an average Wyoming woman makes about $651,000 less than a man over the course of a 40 year career. 

Co-sponsor of the bill Laramie Representative Cathy Connolly said the bill would require the Wyoming Department of Workforce services to update and expand upon a 2003 study.

"We know that our economy has changed," said Connolly. "We want to move forward with the best possible economic development. And we want to say that Wyoming is welcoming, and open for business for women, as well as for men. And so for us to have the good data, the good information in order to move forward and make those kind of informed decisions, we need updated data. It’s as simple as that."

The report would be due no later than October 2018. The bill now moves to the Senate for further review.

Maggie Mullen is Wyoming Public Radio's regional reporter with the Mountain West News Bureau. Her work has aired on NPR, Marketplace, Science Friday, and Here and Now. She was awarded a 2019 regional Edward R. Murrow Award for her story on the Black 14.
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