Senate fails to override Governor Rauner's veto of equal pay bill

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SPRINGFIELD, Ill (WAND)- The Illinois Senate failed to override Governor Rauner's veto of a measure aimed at closing that pay gap between men and women. 


The Senate voted 29-17, receiving far less votes than when first called in May.  


The measure is an update to the Equal Pay Act of 2003, and does four things. First, it would prohibit employers from asking job applicants about prior or current wage and benefits. Second, if there is a pay difference between men and women at a company, the law would require the employer to justify the difference. Next, it would make it illegal to prohibit employees from sharing their wage information with others. And finally, any employer who is found non-compliant with the Equal Pay Act, would face higher penalties. 


Those in support pleaded that it was an economic issue. "While I understand there are many employers who don't do this. We don't write legislation for employers that do the right thing, we write them to compel folks who are doing this to please stop it. Because if 67 percent of all households are headed by women, this is an economic issue." said Senator Toi Hutchinson (D-Olympia Fields). 


However, opponents said it was bad for business. "This will affect 1,000 of small employers throughout the state who pay their employees more because they value their experience in the work place and they value their education. Things we say we value. If this bill were just about not asking about previous wage history, I would not have a problem with it at all, but the affirmative action clause in this bill is confusing. " said Senator Dale Righter (R-Mattoon).


The measure had originally received 35 votes. 


The  General Assembly voted to override 15 of Governor Rauner's 39 vetoes. 

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