Embattled Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said at an event in Illinois last week that it is "100 percent wrong" to say that he repealed his state's equal pay act — though he did sign into law a provision that rolls back the key parts of the Equal Pay Enforcement Act in early April.
The act was meant to give victims of wage discrimination more legal avenues for pursuing cases against their employers, but Walker signed a measure removing parts of the law that allowed people to plead their cases in state circuit court as opposed to federal court.
"The reality is today in the state of Wisconsin it is illegal to discriminate for employment, not only for hiring, but for promotions or any other impact on employment based on race, based on sex, based on a whole series of other criteria," Walker said last Friday at the Illinois Policy Institute. "It was illegal before I took office, it is still illegal today."
Walker goes on to say that his changes to the law were because "that should be an administrative issue. We can handle that."
"You repeatedly hear pundits and others out there claiming that we repealed Equal Pay in the state. That's just 100 percent wrong," Walker said. "It is still against the law to discriminate based on those factors."
Walker's recall election is set for June 5th, and his Equal Pay repeal and other recent legislative actions on abortion and abstinence-only sex education have added fuel to his Democratic opponents' fire. Regardless, he's still polling ahead of both of his main Democratic challengers.
Walker's spokeswoman didn't immediately return a request for comment.
Update 6:13 p.m.: In response to BuzzFeed's request, Walker's press secretary Ciara Matthews forwarded part of a press release titled "The Democrats Are Lying About Employment Discrimination" stating that the bill signed by Walker "removed a duplicative and unnecessarily costly process related to seeking punitive and compensatory damages in state court."
Rosie Gray is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, D.C. Gray reports on politics and foreign policy.
Contact Rosie Gray at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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