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Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Chris Christie Signs Equal Pay Bill Into Law

Chris Christie

New Jersey governor Chris Christie (R) signed a bill aiming to combat wage discrimination into law on Thursday, in a move that could have a major impact on the 2016 presidential race. The bill prohibits salary secrecy for workers who chose to disclose job information such as title, compensation, and benefits to other employees in attempts to reveal unfair wages.

The new law makes it illegal for employers to penalize employees for disclosing such information to other employees or organizations. Think Progress reports, “Nearly half of all workers are either forbidden or strongly discouraged from sharing that information with each other, making it extremely difficult for women and other groups to root out discrimination.”

While the average wage gap for women in New Jersey is equivalent to the national average, New Jersey minorities fare worse according to a 2011 study. The study found that New Jersey ranked 26th in the country in wage equity, with women making just under 78 cents for every dollar men earn. The nationwide average stands at 77 cents. African-American women in New Jersey earn only 58 cents on every dollar, however, and Hispanic women earn only an average of 43 cents for every dollar men earn, worse than in any other state in the nation.

State Assemblywoman Pamela Lampitt (D), a sponsor of the equal pay bill, said on Thursday, “Unfortunately, we know all too well that gender wage discrimination is alive and well in the 21st century.” Lampitt added, “Hopefully by empowering employees with knowledge of their rights and holding employers more accountable, we can chip away the remaining fragments of the glass ceiling.”

The New Jersey bill parallels the Paycheck Fairness Act, which has been repeatedly introduced in Congress, but failed in the Senate when Republicans unanimously voted down the opportunity to debate the bill.

Christie has long been rumored to harbor presidential ambitions. A recent Quinnipiac poll revealed Christie would be a formidable competitor against Democratic favorite and frontrunner Hillary Clinton in 2016.

If Christie runs for president in 2016, he’ll certainly have to face questions from his own party on certain policies he has implemented in New Jersey. Christie has been known to break from right-wing principles now and then; from praising the president’s response to Hurricane Sandy, to passing gun reform laws in opposition to Republican friendly pro-gun groups, to now signing legislation to move New Jersey one step closer to fair wages for women and minorities, Christie would have much to answer for in a Republican primary. Were he to win the nomination, however, having signed this bill into law could be a powerful argument that could help close the gender gap that helped President Obama defeat Mitt Romney in the 2012 election.

H/T: Think Progress

Photo: Marissa Babin via

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  • oldtack

    Good move by Christie. Shows he is not cowed by the Radicals in the Tea Party. Unless the Democrats come up with a GOOD candidate with a solid platform if Christie runs he has a good chance by pulling the moderate Republicans and many moderate Democrats to his side. He’s short, fat and pugnacious but he is not dumb in the realm of Politics.

  • Allan Richardson

    He and all other “moderate” Republicans are navigating between Scylla and Charibdis. If he is not conservative ENOUGH, a more conservative person will get the nomination and that will be good for the Democrats (even if they nominate a weak candidate, which is not likely; I expect Hillary Clinton, possibly with Elizabeth Warren or Joe Biden as a running mate), because independent voters are more scared of right wing crazies than moderate Republicans are of “liberals.” If he IS conservative enough to win the GOP nomination, then like Romney he will have to swerve to the center for the general election campaign. This will probably make some extreme Republicans stay home (or vote for someone like Rand Paul who may start a third party, as George Wallace did), and Democrats can bring out the base by pointing out, as we did with Romney, that even if a moderate face is in the White House, the strings will still be pulled by extremists.

    The best Democratic PLATFORM would be to show that RECENT Republican ideas, as shown by their OWN PEOPLE, are not in the best interests of the vast majority of Americans, even those who “feel” that they are right, while Democrats are actually not the “left wing nuts” they are portrayed, but are more like 1950’s Republicans. This contrast would be well demonstrated with a Clinton/Biden or Clinton/Warren ticket (the latter would resonate with both single women and couples who have been cheated by banks).

  • bcarreiro

    Raising minimum wage to $10hr to meet the standard of living would make you a front runner for president……… then others states could follow.

  • howa4x

    The national media doesn’t look very closely at Christies record as a conservative. Although he has done some cosmetic things like hug Obama he just vetoed a gun bill he proposed because he was told that voters in New Hampshire would not vote for him if he signed it. He has also vetoed a same sex marriage bill that passed both houses, and cancelled the earned income tax credit used by the working poor to pay less. He did this while giving corporations 2.1 billion in tax breaks. He has closed 30 family planning clinics although Texas got all the headlines. The only reason he signed off on this bill was to blunt criticism from Barbra Bouno who is running against him and picking up ground. He is dragging his feet on medical MJ permits to new clinics. He also stole 700 million from the utility surcharge program meant for sustainable energy to balance the budget. He can’t be trusted by independents or conservative democrats. He is the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

  • tax payer

    Women get the same wages as men when they work for the Government, Fire Department, Police Department, Teachers, Nurses,