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Equal pay supporters divided on latest amendment

February 27, 2018

Clarion-Ledger,

February 26, 2018-

An equal pay bill could become reality in Mississippi if it makes it out of a Senate committee by Tuesday. However, some supporters of past equal pay legislation are questioning the merits of this latest attempt. In early February, the House approved an amendment that would allow workers to file for compensation in response to discriminatory pay. The move came during a debate on House Bill 1241. The legislation introduced by Judiciary A Chairman Mark Baker, R-Brandon, is aimed, in part, at prohibiting cities from setting minimum wage amounts above the state’s current rate.

Rep. Alyce Clarke, D-Jackson, introduced an amendment to the bill, which passed on a 73-40 vote. Baker has been staunchly opposed to a state equal pay bill in the past and questioned the need for Clarke’s amendment, saying it “simply repeats that which exists in federal law.” The bill was assigned to the Senate Finance Committee, headed by Sen. Joey Fillingane, R-Sumrall. It has until Tuesday to make it out of committee. Fillingane could not immediately be reached for comment.

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