Lilly Ledbetter, namesake of the Fair Pay Act of 2009 for her pivotal role in exposing bias against women, will be in Little Rock today to speak in the Rabbi Ira Sanders Lecture series at 6:30 p.m. today at the downtown library. Her name was invoked by the Democratic Party also for an 11 a.m. news conference at the Capitol with state Reps. Warwick Sabin and Patti Julian and Democratic Party Executive Director Candace Martin to talk about future efforts in support of equal rights and equal pay for women in Arkansas.
NOTE CORRECTION: I wrote incorrectly that Ledbetter would be at the Democratic Party news conference. She was just a jumping off point for the political event.
Last session was mostly marked by a Republican-controlled committee’s repudiation of the Equal Rights Amendment. The future holds reconsideration of that issue, plus state legislation — such as a paycheck fairness law for public employees and state help for the disproportionately impoverished female-headed households in the state, though job training and other help.
These have not been issues in which Republicans have been in the forefront. Current Republican members of Congress — think Tom Cotton, Tim Griffin and Rick Crawford particularly — opposed consideration of paycheck fairness legislation to improve the Lilly Ledbetter Act, which itself drew only three Republican House votes when it passed in 2009 thanks to a Democratic majority in the House.