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Dear Editor:

Nov. 2, marked Latinas’ Equal Pay Day, the symbolic day when Hispanic and Latina women’s earnings “catch up” to non-Hispanic white men’s earnings from the previous year.

On average, Latinas are paid 54 percent of what non-Hispanic white men are paid, the same ratio as in 1987. That means it takes Latinas almost an entire extra year of full-time, year-round work in order to be paid what the average non-Hispanic white man took home by Dec. 31, 2016. This is a loss of over $1 million dollars over the course of her career.

Women can’t afford to wait for equal pay. Strong, effective, comprehensive legislation like Pennsylvania HB1243 would make a big difference for women and their families. Increased wages would mean more tax income for state and local governments and possibly less dependence on assistance programs, which could help the state budget. Our legislators need to work together to close the pay gap.

Nancy Sigrist

Carlisle

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