In honor of National Equal Pay Day, April 14, Sen. Annette Cleveland spoke to the need for equal pay for equal work in the State of Washington. (TRT: 1:22) CLICK TO DOWNLOAD


Lt. Gov. Brad Owen: “Sen. Cleveland.”

Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver: “Thank you, Mr. President. Point of personal privilege”

Lt. Gov. Brad Owen: “Please state your point of personal privilege.”

Sen. Annette Cleveland, D-Vancouver: “Well, thank you Mr. President. I too rise today in recognition of Equal Pay Day. And, while I know this is an issue that cuts across many boundaries, I also know that according to a January 2015 Institute for Women’s Policy Report, if we take no further action to advance pay equity, women in Washington won’t gain pay equity until 2071. Let me say that again: 2071!

“Now given that our state passed our original Equal Pay Act 72 years ago, in 1943, this means we will not achieve pay equity for another 56 years! Mr. President, 128 years to achieve equal pay is too long and does not honor our long history as a state of being a champion for women.

“So as I look around this body and I see the tremendous women here today as well as those who have served us in the past, we’re leading our state and lighting the way forward. I urge us to, on this day of recognition of the Equal Pay Act, that we commit to addressing this issue together now. Thank you.”