Although we have made great strides in recent years – including the signing of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act – we must continue fighting to make sure our Michigan mothers, sisters and daughters receive the same opportunities as our fathers, brothers and sons. Unfortunately in this decades-long fight we have barely budged the pay gap and it continues to cost women tens of thousands of dollars each year. The Michigan legislature has the power to pass laws that ensure pay equity in our state.

In Michigan, women are paid just 74 cents for every $1 men make – a 26-cent pay gap. That is one of the worst pay gaps in the country. The national average is 77 cents and it’s even worse for women of color. In general, a woman would have to work an extra four months to earn what a man doing similar work would earn in all of 2014. That is unacceptable.

This is not only a women’s issue but it is truly a family matter. Women who work hard every day to provide for their families deserve equal treatment in the workforce and equal pay for equal work. Closing the pay gap would make a world of difference to a mother and her family when trying to put food on the table and pay the rent or mortgage. Addressing the pay gap is the key to strengthening and empowering women and their families across the state. As your Congresswoman I will work to pass legislation that creates pay equity for all of the women of our nation.