Washington State House Democrats


Rep Senn’s floor statement on passage of HR 1646 – Equal Pay

The Washington State House of Representatives convenes for floor debate, February 3rd, 2016, the 24th day of the Legislative Session.
Rep. Tana Senn

Approved by the Washington House of Representatives on February 3, 2016


America is a nation founded on the ideal that all of us are created equal.

That should hold true at the ballot box, in the court room—and at work.

Paying different people different paychecks for the same work is unfair, unbelievable & un-American.

It’s wrong if one person is black or Asian and the other is white.

Wrong if one is Jewish and the other is Protestant.

And it’s wrong if one person is a woman and the other is a man.

Unfortunately, this isn’t a new problem.

Our great-grandmothers weren’t allowed to vote, or to be lawyers or doctors.

Our grandmothers could be CEO secretaries, but never the CEO.

And our mothers could serve in the Army, but not in combat.

What will be the story for our daughters? Like my 10-year old daughter, Rachel, who is already all too aware of the gender wage gap.

Women have always had to fight to push through.

Today’s fight is about equal pay.

This law doesn’t force employers to rearrange their payroll.

Even the most conservative economics professor will tell you that markets work best when everybody has the information they need to make basic choices.

That basic information is being kept secret from women today.

This legislation does a simple, powerful thing:  it shines the light of truth for talented, hard-working women from Bellevue to Walla Walla.

So I ask you to, today, help end this wage gap. This lack of equality.

Let’s send the message to employees and employers,

To men and women. To our girls and boys…

that indeed, all of us are created — and must be treated — equally.