Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Ross
went after the women's vote today with an announcement that he'll work to strengthen state laws guaranteeing equal pay for equal work. He calls his plan the "Fair Pay and Equal Opportunity Plan" and said it will include provisions to protect employees against retaliation for discussing wages with colleagues, among other points.
The campaign's press release quotes Ross:
“Women in Arkansas are paid $.77 for every dollar men earn, and we are ranked 35th in the U.S. in terms of gender pay equity. That’s unacceptable because I want my daughter to have the same opportunities to succeed as my son, and I want the same for every Arkansan across this state,” said Ross. “When women earn equal pay for equal work, all Arkansans do better. Our communities, big and small, thrive when our people thrive – all our people. Those are the values I learned at the kitchen table with my mom and dad growing up in small town Arkansas, and those are the values that will guide me as governor.”
First Lady Ginger Beebe
and Ross' wife, Holly
, and daughter, Sydney Ross Pack
, stood with the candidate as he made his announcement.
Arkansas law under Sec. 11-4-601 requires employers to pay equal pay for equal services and prohibits discrimination based on sex.
In response, Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson'
s campaign pointed to a Talk Business/Hendrix poll that shows Hutchinson has a lead among women voters, and provided this quote from the candidate: "I fully support fair pay that is based on qualifications and ability, and there is no place for unfair treatment of employees based on sex. I hope this is something we can all agree on, especially because I have a daughter and granddaughter, and I want them to have the same opportunities as my sons and grandsons."
The Talk Business/Hendrix College poll, conducted in July, showed Hutchinson with a one point lead over Ross among women voters. A Sept. 24 Suffolk University/USA TODAY Poll shows Ross and Hutchinson in a dead heat among women voters.
You can read Ross' release
Also of interest to women, Both Ross and Hutchinson have also said they will address the prevention of domestic violence; find interviews with the candidates by KTHV 11 here