A group of professional women is reintroducing a bill to encourage equal pay for women.

Gender pay equity is merely a dream for too many women in Wisconsin, so says Lin Clousing, Legislative Chair for the Wisconsin Federation of Business and Professional Women. Clousing says the Equal Pay Enforcement Act puts a little meat on the existing Fair Pay Employment Acts. "It just basically says, it permits a person who has been discriminated against to receive some punitive damages … if it's been proven. You know, it's not just that anybody can go out there and get money."

Clousing says the measure would also set up a committee within the Department of Workforce Development, which would look at the whole pay inequity issue. "Why is it happening? What's the real cause behind it? How can we get this changed?"

Although she has a lot of support from Democrats, Clousing says it's not a Democrat issue. It affects Democrats, Republicans, Independents, non-voters, women, families. Equal Pay Day is April 24th this year, but Clousing says that's when lawmakers are scant, so they'll lobby this bill a month earlier, March 20th, when lawmakers will be at the capitol to hear them.

The group will hold a rally on March 20th at the Capitol steps from noon to 1:00. Planned speakers include Lt. Governor Barbara Lawton, Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), and Representative Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee).

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report (1:21 MP3)

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