State Senator Chris Edwards of Eugene authored and passed a bill last year to examine wage inequality in Oregon. He will present the results of the study tonight (Monday).
Senator Edwards believes dealing with income inequality is critical to boosting Oregon's economy. He says the new report is revealing. For example:
Edwards: "Even here in Oregon, women still only earn 79 cents for every dollar a man earns, for the same work, even though they have the same qualifications."
Edwards says two-thirds of Oregon women are either the primary or co-bread winner for their family. He expects the data to lead to several bills, but probably not until the 2015 session.
President Obama is expected to focus on the income gap in Tuesday's state of the union address. Edwards says any federal help on the issue would be welcomed, but
Edwards: "I don't think that we can wait for a divided congress to take action on this when we know what some of the solutions might be right here in Oregon."
Edwards hopes Oregon's work can set an example for federal wage disparity initiatives.
The forum on pay inequality in Oregon takes place at the Eugene Public Library at 6 p.m. tonight (Monday).