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Rosa DeLauro
Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
5:16pm
Wed Dec 2

Experts Release 'Women's Economic Agenda' To Close Gender Pay Gap, Boost Wage Growth

Declining wages among men drove 40 percent of the progress in closing the U.S. gender wage gap over the past 35 years, according to research by the Economic Policy Institute.

Experts at the Washington, D.C.-based progressive think tank highlighted that finding last month as they unveiled a "Women's Economic Agenda." EPI's 12-point policy agenda looks to improve economic security for women and families by closing the gender pay gap and promoting broad-based wage growth.

"Over the last several decades women have entered the workforce in record numbers and made great strides in educational attainment. Nevertheless, when compared with men, women are still paid less, are more likely to hold low-wage jobs, and are more likely to live in poverty," reads the agenda's accompanying report by EPI's Alyssa Davis and Elise Gould. "Gender wage disparities are present at all wage levels and within education categories, occupations, and sectors--sometimes to a grave degree."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
6:19pm
Fri Jul 17

Schakowsky: TPP Could Harm Access To Affordable Medicine

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL,9) is sounding the alarm over the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership's (TPP) potential impacts on affordable prescription drug access.

Schakowsky joined U.S. Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT,3) as well as health and consumer advocates on a Friday conference call to highlight leaked intellectual property provisions in the proposed trade deal that could curb access to generic medicines.

One item contained in the TPP's leaked intellectual property chapter would expand the use of "evergreening," a process by which patents are granted for new uses or changes to existing medicines.

Essentially, "evergreening" lets patent holders like pharmaceutical companies "obtain longer periods of exclusivity for just slight changes in existing medications, even if there is no therapeutic benefit," Schakowsky explained, adding that this process "allows monopoly pricing and keeps out competition from generic companies, and drives up prices."

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
4:17pm
Tue Oct 7, 2014

Workers' Rights Advocates Call For Paid Sick Leave As Chicago Aldermen Move Forward On Ballot Referendum

Chicago voters might have an opportunity during the February municipal election to weigh in on a non-binding ballot referendum about paid sick leave for workers in the city.

The council's Rules Committee passed a resolution at its Tuesday meeting calling for an advisory ballot question on whether employers in Chicago should be required to provide their employees with paid leave in the event of an "illness or public health emergency." The full council could consider the proposal at its meeting this Wednesday. 

Chicago Ald. Joe Moore (49th), one of the sponsors of the referendum resolution, discussed the measure at a forum on paid sick leave and other pro-worker initiatives held this morning at Roosevelt University.

"It's a great organizing tool for those who support paid sick leave," Moore said of the pending citywide referendum, also sponsored by Alds. Joe Moreno (1st) and Will Burns (4th). Moore said he is confident the measure will pass through the full council tomorrow.

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
2:28pm
Thu Aug 14, 2014

Duckworth Talks Paycheck Fairness, Gender Wage Gap At Suburban Panel Discussion

U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-IL,8) called attention to the gender wage gap and federal legislation designed to help close it at a panel discussion in Hanover Park Thursday morning. 

In Illinois, women make 78 cents for every dollar that a man earns. On average, females in the Prairie State earn nearly $12,000 less than their male counterparts each year, Duckworth noted.

"Basically, we're shortchanging our families," the congresswoman said at the discussion with representatives from government agencies and non-profits. "That really affects not just the breadwinner, or the women herself, but her entire family" and the local economy "because people have less buying power." 

Quick Hit
by Ellyn Fortino
7:46pm
Tue May 7, 2013

Advocates For Women’s, Workers' Rights Say Congress Must Reject The Working Families Flexibility Act

More than 150 women’s, worker and civil rights organizations sent a letter to members of the U.S. House of Representatives Monday urging them to reject the Working Families Flexibility Act of 2013.

The measure, H.R. 1406, sponsored by U.S. Rep. Martha Roby (R, AL-2), is expected to go up for a full House vote Wednesday.

Opponents of the bill, which has 168 Republican cosponsors, say it is an empty promise that would do more harm than good for working families.

“The very fact that this is entitled the Working Families Flexibility Act is a joke,” U.S. Rep. Donna Edwards, a Democrat from Maryland, said on a conference call with reporters Monday. “It’s a lot of flexibility for employers and zero flexibility for working families. In fact, you could call it the ‘working families to death act,’ because that’s what would result.”