Ned Lamont and Susan Bysiewicz, Democratic nominees for governor and lieutenant governor, unveiled a strategic agenda to empower, support and provide equal opportunity to women in every facet of their lives – from the classroom to the boardroom.
They made the announcement at Tallan Inc., a woman-owned business that provides technology and business process services, and also were joined by a survivor of intimate partner violence.
The Lamont-Bysiewicz plan stands in stark contrast to the Stefanowski-Markley ticket, which opposes equal pay for equal work, any minimum wage, choice and mandated coverage for pre-existing conditions and contraception. Lamont and Bysiewicz are committed to addressing the economic and social inequities women face every day.
“When more women have access to work, economies grow. If quality childcare is affordable, families thrive. Increasing the number of women and girls who complete college stimulates the economy tenfold,” Lamont said. “That’s why the experiences of women and girls must figure into every policy and program decision we make. We have to revitalize Connecticut’s economy in a way that fosters prosperity and opportunity for all, including Connecticut’s 170,000 family households headed by women.”
If elected, Lamont and Bysiewicz would create economic security for women by implementing a paid family and medical leave system, expanding access to affordable childcare, increasing the minimum wage, further supporting women-owned businesses and closing the gender wage gap.
The Lamont-Bysiewicz :
- Establishing a meaningful and responsibly financed paid family and medical leave system.
- Providing women in the workforce with access to high-quality early childhood care that will help their children thrive and grow in safety while parents work to support their families.
- Increasing the availability of infant care and developing options for childcare available during non-traditional and weekend hours. Reliably supporting the Care4Kids childcare assistance fund to ensure that childcare is available for low to moderate income families.
- Raising the minimum wage to $15 to lift working families – including those headed by women – out of poverty and stimulate economic growth.
- Prioritizing state contracts with and access to credit for women- and minority-owned businesses to ensure everyone in Connecticut is able to get ahead.
- Lifting up women’s voices and making sure they can bring their ideas, talent, and energy to the table by working to ensure women are equitably represented in all sectors, starting with state government.
- Urging the state’s largest employers to take the Paradigm for Parity Pledge to achieve full gender parity by 2030. Some major firms, including Frontier, Synchrony Financial and United Technologies Corporation, have already done so, leading the way.
“Momentum has been building across the country to ensure women are given the power and equalization they deserve. While the gender wage gap touches every woman regardless of her age, experience, or education level, women of color are disproportionately impacted. African American women are paid 59-cents and Latinas earn 48-cents for every dollar paid to white, non-Hispanic men,” Bysiewicz said. “That is unfair, and it is costing women and our economy $15 billion. Women should never be paid less for equal work. Ned and I have a plan to build a more fair and equal economy that lifts all women up.”
Under Republican opponent Bob Stefanowski’s tax scheme to eliminate more than half of the state’s revenue, funding for education, health care, women’s resources and core services that spread equal opportunity would be decimated.
State Sen. Joe Markley was the lone vote in the state Senate who voted against legislation that would have helped close the gender wage gap. Under the Stefanowski-Markley ticket, this wage gap would only continue to grow.
“Connecticut cannot afford to elect a leader who has a record of rolling back a woman’s right to earn equal pay for equal work and a woman’s right to choose. With Democrats holding a slim majority in the legislature, it is crucial to elect a lieutenant governor – who presides over the state senate – who will stand up and protect Connecticut values; not someone who will roll back the progress we have made in closing the gender wage gap,” Bysiewicz said.
As the Trump administration continues with efforts to roll back a woman’s right to choose and jeopardize a woman’s safety, Lamont and Bysiewicz are committed to implementing policies in Connecticut that safeguard women’s reproductive rights and further protect women from sexual violence.
If elected, Lamont and Bysiewicz would:
- Protect the essential benefits of the Affordable Care Act in state law including preventive health services for women, like birth control, with no-copay or cost sharing and expanded prescription coverage up to 12 months for contraceptives.
- Preserve funding for vital health care services, including the Medicaid (Husky) program, which provides healthcare coverage for more than 413,000 women.
- Crack down on crisis pregnancy centers using deceptive advertising practices.
- Extend Connecticut’s statute of limitation on sexual assault crimes to provide the opportunity for victims to come forward when they are ready to do so and have the hearing they deserve.
- Support the work of advocates, law enforcement, and prosecutors to ensure that Connecticut quickly and effectively processes sexual assault evidence kits.
- Preserve state funding for Sexual Assault Services and Domestic Violence Services.
- Create a task force to bring together business leaders, advocates, human resources professionals, and survivors to review best practices and create a stronger culture of education and prevention to stop workplace sexual harassment, assault, and discrimination. Champion the work of advocacy agencies to educate and encourage men and boys to participate in active prevention of domestic violence and sexual violence.
- Work with our towns to introduce sex ed programs in public schools that highlight the importance of affirmative consent.
“Over the past year, the world has been shocked by horrific stories, some decades-old, told by brave survivors. In our state, we believe them. We stand up for them. Women have the right to feel and to be safe in their homes, in their workplaces, and in any and all public spaces,” Lamont said. “We all need to stand up, speak out and vote for the change we wish to see. This begins with electing leaders who will use their voices to strengthen and increase women’s rights. If elected, I will be a leader who will not be silent – I will be vocal, I will not take a ‘pass’ and I will speak out against sexual violence and be a voice for those who have not been heard.”