Connelly on wage equality: 'Let's use a carrot'
Sen. Michael Connelly (R-Lisle) called for a compromise on wage equality legislation.
During the debate with Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) during the Senate Veto Session, Connelly complimented wage equality bill HB2462, but said the legislation should come at a later time.
The bill would seek to equalize earnings for men and women in the state. On average, women in Illinois working year-round, full time jobs make 80 cents for every $1 men earn. Connelly attempted to pass similar legislation this year.
“The bill I filed, which never got a hearing in the Labor Committee, creates a self-evaluation plan incentive,” Connelly said. “It incentivizes companies to look inward and do the analysis to see if in fact there are wage disparities between men and women and to correct them.”
Connelly would want to see the bill tweaked and hoped he and Biss could put something together at the start of next year to incorporate ideas from his version.
“It’s a good measure and it has all of the things you have in your bill senator, so I would respectively ask for a no vote and come in January and I will give you the sponsorship of my bill and ask that I be your chief co-sponsor,” Connelly said, adding they can push to have it the governor’s desk before March. “Instead of using a stick let’s use a carrot.”
For him, the issue is personal, pointing to his wife, who works in a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) field.
“She has been a Bell Labs engineer for 30 years and competed against men for 30 years,” Connelly said. “I hear plenty of stories, and I understand the motivation here. I have a daughter who is a biochemical engineer, and I have a daughter who is a speech pathologist competing everyday against men in the workplace.”
Biss called on Connelly to work together now instead of putting it off.
“We have a ... bill right now on third reading that is ready to go that does what you wanted it to do, Senator, come on board,” Biss said. “We can do it right now, that is what agreement is all about.”
The Senate voted 29-17 on HB2462 but failed to override Gov. Bruce Rauner's veto of the measure.