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Press Release

For Immediate Release
January 21, 2014

Contact:
Communications Office
(603)271-2121

Governor Hassan Voices Support for Paycheck Fairness Act
Submits Letter Urging Senate Commerce Committee to Recommend Passage of Measure to Address Pay Equity

CONCORD - Emphasizing the need to address pay equity between women and men in order to boost economic growth and support working families, Governor Maggie Hassan today submitted a letter to the Senate Commerce Committee in support of SB 207 - the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014 - legislation sponsored by Senator Sylvia Larsen that updates state law to eliminate loopholes, increase transparency in wages, and ensure that all workers have the appropriate tools and resources to help them earn a fair and equal paycheck, without fear of retaliation.

“Today, well over half of the women in our state are either the primary or co-breadwinners in their families,” Governor Hassan wrote. “And yet, on average, women in New Hampshire earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to what men earn in comparable jobs. This disparity makes it more difficult for New Hampshire families to achieve financial prosperity and save for the future. It also puts further strain on our state budget and hurts our local businesses by taking money out of the pockets of consumers.

“The Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014 will strengthen New Hampshire’s economic future and improve the financial security of working families by providing the tools and protections needed to ensure equal paychecks for all Granite Staters.”

In addition to updates to the equal pay law signed in 2000 by then-Governor Jeanne Shaheen, the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014 creates the Governor’s New Hampshire Award for Pay Equity in the Workplace, highlighting New Hampshire employers who successfully take action to ensure equal pay for men and women.

“Ensuring that both women and men can earn equal pay for an equal day’s work is essential to our economic future,” the Governor’s letter continued. “We must reduce the strain that pay disparity puts on thousands of families and help strengthen our middle class.”

Governor Hassan’s full letter to the Senate Commerce Committee is below:

January 23, 2014

Senator Andy Sanborn, Chairman
Senate Commerce Committee
Room 101
Legislative Office Building, Concord

Dear Mr. Chairman and Members of the Committee:

I write to you today in support of SB 207, the Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014, a critical piece of legislation for New Hampshire’s economy and working families. Today, well over half of the women in our state are either the primary or co-breadwinners in their families. And yet, on average, women in New Hampshire earn 77 cents on the dollar compared to what men earn in comparable jobs. This disparity makes it more difficult for New Hampshire families to achieve financial prosperity and save for the future. It also puts further strain on our state budget and hurts our local businesses by taking money out of the pockets of consumers.

The Paycheck Fairness Act of 2014 will strengthen New Hampshire’s economic future and improve the financial security of working families by providing the tools and protections needed to ensure equal paychecks for all Granite Staters. It builds on the important equal pay law signed in 2000 by then-Governor Jeanne Shaheen by eliminating loopholes, increasing transparency in wages, and ensuring that all workers have the appropriate tools and resources to help them earn a fair and equal paycheck, without fear of retaliation.

The measure will also highlight New Hampshire employers who successfully take action to ensure equal pay for men and women by creating the Governor’s New Hampshire Award for Pay Equity in the Workplace. We know there are many businesses that have made pay equity a priority, and recognizing their efforts will encourage others to focus on improving paycheck fairness for all of their employees.

Ensuring that both women and men can earn equal pay for an equal day’s work is essential to our economic future. We must reduce the strain that pay disparity puts on thousands of families and help strengthen our middle class. I thank Senator Larsen for sponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act and encourage members of the committee to recommend passage. Thank you for your consideration.

With every good wish,

Margaret Wood Hassan
Governor