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Gov. McAuliffe Signs Equal Pay Day Proclamation - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Gov. McAuliffe Signs Equal Pay Day Proclamation

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RICHMOND, Va (WVIR) -

Tuesday is officially "Equal Pay Day" in the commonwealth, as Virginia joins other states around the country to encourage equal pay for women. In his proclamation Tuesday morning, Governor Terry McAuliffe said equal pay is part of growing Virginia’s economy.

Equal pay is one of the big issues McAuliffe ran on before winning last November's election. Following through on that campaign promise, he signed the 2014 "Equal Pay Day" proclamation Tuesday morning.

When it comes to equal pay for women, McAuliffe says Virginia is lagging behind neighboring states and regions, which could put the commonwealth at a disadvantage.

McAuliffe says growing a stronger economy in Virginia means attracting the best and brightest to the state.

“I understand what we have to do to grow and diversify this economy: we've got to pay women equal pay as a man makes, we've got to make sure we're encouraging women to get into these new STEM fields,” said McAuliffe.

For every dollar a man makes, McAuliffe says women make about 79 cents in Virginia. That's compared to 85 cents in Maryland, and 90 cents in the District of Columbia.

In Washington, D.C. Tuesday, President Obama signed two executive orders aimed at encouraging federal contractors to offer pay parity. Obama also called on Republican lawmakers to support forthcoming legislation called the "Paycheck Fairness Act," though similar measures have failed in the past.

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