An Open Letter to South Carolina

Five years ago, the U.S. Congress passed the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, allowing employees to challenge unequal pay. However, South Carolina continues to be one of only four states without an equal pay law, and we are working here in the Palmetto State to pass legislation that will address these inequities immediately.

We’ve seen firsthand the challenges of women here — South Carolina was recently ranked 50th in the country for working women. Men currently make $8,272 more than women working full-time jobs in our state. That’s eighty cents for every dollar a man makes. With that difference, women would be able to pay for over 10 months of rent, over 4,000 gallons of gas, or 67 more weeks of food for their families.
 
 This is why we need national leadership on this issue as well. Because while we will keep working in the Palmetto State to secure equal pay, we are not alone. Millions of women across the country deserve equal pay for equal work, and that’s why we need Congress to successfully pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would strengthen the Equal Pay Act.

We’re supporting Hillary this election because she’s been a fighter for women and girls her entire career. She’s championed equal pay efforts for decades and has been a longtime supporter of the Paycheck Fairness Act dating back to her first term in the Senate. With more women serving as the main breadwinners for their families, eliminating the wage gap will help South Carolina’s families get ahead. Given Hillary’s experience working across the aisle, she is uniquely positioned to lead and deliver results as president.

No other candidate is uniquely qualified to expand opportunity for women, children and families like Hillary. She’s focused on addressing issues like gun violence, paid family leave, and early childhood education. She will build on President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, and she will work to keep families safe. Hillary will stand up to the Republicans to preserve and add to the progress made under President Obama, and after serving in his cabinet as Secretary of State, she has the experience to execute on her vision and promises.

We know that Hillary is firmly on the side of South Carolina’s women — and we know she won’t back down. All candidates should follow her lead to speak out for the basic principle of equal pay for equal work.

Senator Margie Bright-Matthews

Representative Chandra Dillard

Representative Patricia Moore Henegan

Representative Mia McLeod

Representative Mandy Powers Norrell

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