Vt. Senate leadership pushes pay equity bill

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) A bill to help women earn the same wages as men is up for consideration in Montpelier.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers say it would prevent employers from asking for salary history when you apply for a job. The Vermont Commission on Women says women in this state earn 84-cents for every dollar that men do. And one lawmaker told us if that changed the poverty rate would drop by 57-percent, and the increase in wages would equal one billion dollars.

"Time is up on pay inequality," said Sen. Alison Clarkson, D-Windsor County.

"I know I speak not just for the Senate, but in particular for the men of the Senate, saying that any strategies to make sure that we have true equality in the workforce and make sure that women are being paid fairly and on an equal basis with men for the exact same job -- is something that we look forward to working on," said Sen. Tim Ashe, D-Chittenden County.

Ashe calls the bill a high priority for the Senate.