On Tuesday morning, H.R. 3599 (“South Carolina Equal Pay for Equal Work Act”) was heard by the House Judiciary subcommittee, which is chaired by Murphy.
When another member of the subcommittee called for vote on the bill, Murphy delayed, even moving discussion on to another bill, according to The Post & Courier’s Maya T. Prabhu, who reports the state representative from Dorchester County used a “series of procedural moves designed to put off voting” on the bill.
As a result, the “Equal Pay for Equal Work Act” was tabled and with no progress. And that doesn’t sit well with Ethel D. Campbell, chair of the Dorchester County Democratic Party.
“The bill was read. Five citizens testified about the need for the bill. And another state representative called for a vote on the bill.
“But Murphy decided to use tricks to avoid that vote, and apparently because he knew it would pass, which would allow the ‘Equal Pay’ bill to be voted into law by the state legislature.”
This only adds insult to injury, says Campbell.
“Women are paid 19 percent less than men are in South Carolina. It’s even worse for minority women in our state.”
According to the National Women’s Law Center, black women in South Carolina earn only 57.5 percent of the amount paid to white, non-Hispanic men in the state. For Hispanic women in South Carolina, it’s only 51.2 percent.
And the much-lower income doesn’t affect women alone, but the next generation, too, adds Campbell.
“Single mothers make up almost 10 percent of South Carolina households, too. Making that much less in income is worse when you’re raising children. This affects the future of our state, as a result.”
The bill might still be voted on at a later subcommittee meeting, its sponsor – Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-Orangeburg) – told The Post & Courier. A later passing of the bill won’t make anyone forget Murphy’s tactics today, though, Campbell says.
“On the plus side, this might have opened the door to opposition for Murphy in the next election cycle. We won’t let voters in Dist. 98 forget this.”
Along with South Carolina, only North Carolina, Utah and Wisconsin do not have “equal pay” laws. The Dist. of Columbia has no “equal pay” laws, either.