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The Count: breaking down the vote on equal pay for equal work 

The vote from a Republican-led Louisiana House committee blocking a measure mandating equal pay for equal work.

One day after a Republican legislator attempted a "joke" amendment to add a weight limit (160 pounds) and an age limit (28) for adult dancers in Louisiana, a Republican-led House committee blocked an equal pay bill backed by Gov. John Bel Edwards.

  On May 19, the House Labor and Industrial Relations Committee voted 10-5 against Senate Bill 254 from state Sen. J.P. Morrell, D-New Orleans, who aimed to extend equal pay protections to private businesses and employers. The bill also would have allowed employees who feel their pay reflects gender discrimination to file suit against their employers.

  The governor scolded lawmakers following its failure. "The time has come to stop talking about family values and start making decisions that actually value families," he said in a statement. A statement from the Louisiana Democratic Party said Republican legislators "lacked the political courage" to send the bill to the full House and Senate for debate and a vote.

  On May 18, state Rep. Kenneth Havard, R-Jackson, tried to add language to a bill that bans adult dancers under the age of 21 by saying they must also be under 160 pounds and no more than 28 years old. Legislators slammed Havard for his sexist "joke," which he had quickly withdrawn, though he refused to apologize.


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