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Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Davis Outlines 'Equal Work, Equal Pay' Plan


U.S. Rep. Artur Davis wants to improve the plight of the working women and part-time workers of Alabama and on Tuesday he announced his plan for how he’ll do it if he is elected governor.

With equal pay advocate Lilly Ledbetter at his side, Davis announced several incentives for working families and companies that he would implement if he elected governor in November.

“All too often we have compete based on how little we do for our people,” he said. “That time ought to be past. If we’re going to be in a race to the bottom, there are many parts of the world that have us beat. We must compete based on the quality of our workforce and the quality of our schools.

Davis said in addition to the child tax credit that he has proposed as part of his economic plan for the state, he would offer an additional childcare tax credit like those offered in Kentucky and Louisiana for parents who work full and part-time.

He also would make public a list of Alabama companies that are fully compliant with gender equality laws, and make gender equality a condition for doing business with the state. Companies that offer flexible leave policies for parents could also see rewards under Davis’ plan.

Davis criticized Gov. Bob Riley and the state Legislature for it’s failure to change state laws that would have allowed part-time workers and victim’s of domestic violence to receive unemployment benefits. Alabama was eligible for rejecting millions in stimulus money that the state would have received if it had expanded its unemployment benefits.

Riley had said previously that state employers would be stuck with the costs of the expansion when the stimulus money ran out. But Davis said changing the law is simply the right thing to do. He said that federal money is still available and if he were elected governor he would push for the expansion.

Ledbetter said Davis has a plan that will not only help women to be paid equally, but would also help families. Ledbetter is a former manager at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber plant in Gadsden who sued her company after she discovered that men were being paid significantly more money for work similar to what she did.

Her lawsuit was the impetus that led Congress to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009. Davis was the only member of the Alabama Congressional delegation who voted for the bill.

Davis is vying for the Democratic nomination for governor against Department of Agriculture and Industries Commissioner Ron Sparks.

-- posted by Markeshia Ricks

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Location: Montgomery, AL, United States

South Union Street is the blog of Montgomery Advertiser political reporters Markeshia Ricks and Sebastian Kitchen. Always check here for the latest on the Legislature, elections and other activities and players in Alabama.

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