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Our Turn: Ayotte isn’t working for women and families

  • Former N.H. House speaker Terie Norelli AP



For the Monitor
Sunday, April 17, 2016

We were proud to work on a bipartisan basis two years ago to pass the New Hampshire Paycheck Fairness Act. While no silver bullet, this legislation took important steps forward to end pay discrimination and provide Granite State workers with the tools they need to pursue just compensation for their work and support their families.

It’s not just a matter of fairness – it’s estimated that equal pay would cut poverty among women by 60 percent. And New Hampshire’s economy would benefit from $2.7 billion in increased earnings if all working women earned the same salary as comparable men. But it will take further action to make equal pay a reality.

Passing the federal Paycheck Fairness Act would be an appropriate step to build upon the progress we’ve already made to close the wage gap, and it’s extremely concerning that Sen. Kelly Ayotte has voted four times against this critical legislation. Last year, Ayotte even tried to paper over her record by introducing a watered-down version of the bill we worked so hard to make law here in New Hampshire.

Do not be fooled: Kelly Ayotte’s record shows that she does not look out for working women and families in the Granite State. Not only has she repeatedly voted against commonsense pay equity measures, but she has also sided with the Koch brothers against giving a raise to minimum wage workers in New Hampshire – 7 in 10 of whom are women. She has voted to defund Planned Parenthood six times and voted repeatedly to allow health insurers to be able to charge women more than men.

Equal Pay Day is an important occasion to recall Kelly Ayotte’s real record: She puts her party leadership and special interest backers ahead of working women and families in New Hampshire.

(Terie Norelli is a former speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. Sylvia Larsen is a former president of the New Hampshire Senate.)