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House Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: September 11, 2017 10:42 AM
From: Representative Carol Hill-Evans and Rep. Peter Schweyer
To: All House members
Subject: Conduct a Study on income inequality in the Commonwealth
In the near future, Representative Schweyer and I will be introducing a resolution directing the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study on income inequality in the Commonwealth.

U.S. income inequality has been increasing since the 1970s. Between 2009 and 2012, adjusted for inflation, average incomes increased 3.7 percent in the Commonwealth. In that time frame, the overall income growth was driven by an increase of 28.6 percent in the income of the top one percent of earners. While the top earners experienced a significant increase, the bottom 99 percent of earners saw their real incomes decline by 1.1 percent during that same timeframe.

The gender wage gap and racial wage gap also contribute to income inequality. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, over the last decade, median earnings for women working full-time, year-round, have been just 77 percent of men’s earnings. The gender pay gap affects all women, but for minority women, the pay shortfall is far worse. Asian-American women’s salaries show the smallest minority gender gap pay at 90 percent of white male’s earnings. Hispanic women’s salaries show the largest minority gap pay at only 54 percent of white male’s earnings. Women face a pay gap in nearly every occupation; women are paid less in female-dominated occupations, gender-balanced occupations, and in male-dominated occupations.

We can only begin fixing a problem by fully understanding that problem. Please join us by co-sponsoring this important legislation

Introduced as HR584