By Melody Gutierrez
The California Legislative Women’s Caucus announced a package of bills Tuesday aimed at improving the lives of working women by requiring employers to justify pay gaps among male and female employees and increase state-subsidized child care by $600 million.
The bills would also create more stability in work schedules and eliminate a rule that prohibits additional CalWORKS benefits for children born while a family is already receiving welfare assistance.
Lawmakers said the bills are needed to address the changing economic roles of women, who make up half of the state’s workforce, but who typically earn less than their male coworkers and struggle to find affordable childcare.
“We are at an important juncture for California and California women, a place where we both can make a difference and recognize that a difference needs to be made,” Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson, D-Santa Barbara, chair of the California Legislative Women’s Caucus, said in a statement. “This isn’t just about the pocketbooks of California’s families, although that’s important. This is also about building a strong future for all of California.”