What We’re Working On Now

Our focus for 2019-2020 is enhancing access to and quality of health services and advancing workplace policies that support mothers and families.

WREN’s Legislative Agenda 2019-2020

WREN is committed to advancing the health, economic opportunity, and rights of women, girls, and their families in South Carolina. WREN promotes policies that will help ensure South Carolina’s women and girls have every opportunity to live up to their full potential, which will in turn strengthen families, communities, and the overall well-being of our state. In the 123rd South Carolina General Assembly, WREN will pursue policy priorities that will reduce barriers and increase opportunities for women to work, to earn, to be healthy, and to care for their families.

Policy Priority

Act to Establish Pay Equity (H.3615 & S.372)

Current laws addressing pay have not adapted for the realities of the modern workplace, and the systems we have in place perpetuate unconscious bias.

WREN proposes adoption of the “Act to Establish Pay Equity” which will ensure that employee pay is based on factors such as skill, effort, and responsibility; bans the use of salary history; and provides pay transparency without retaliation.

Policy Priority

Ending Child Marriage (S.395)

A minimum marriage age of 18, without exceptions, is the strongest, simplest and most effective way to stop child marriage and its harmful consequences.

We support S.395, because child marriage has devastating, lifelong consequences for individuals, and also undermines the health and well-being of our families and communities.

Policy Priority

South Carolina Lactation Support Act (H.3200 & S.406)

Breastfeeding provides essential nutrition for infants, helps prevent disease and infection, and improves survival rates during the first year of life.

WREN advocates for the adoption of the “South Carolina Lactation Support Act” which would provide more people with the right to break time and private space to express milk in their workplaces.

 

Policy Priority

12-Month Supply of Birth Control Act (H.3279 & S.187)

Access to a greater supply of birth control at one time has been associated with cost savings, healthier pregnancies, and increases the opportunities that women have to pursue education, advance their careers, and participate in public life.

WREN proposes adoption of the “12-Month Supply of Birth Control Act” which would allow women to receive a one year’s supply of birth control at a time, and amplify family planning ability.

Partner Bill

Workplace Freedom Act (H. 3786)

This bill would seek to eliminate and prevent discrimination because of sexual orientation and gender identity in the workplace.

WREN supports the Workplace Freedom Act and all policies that ensure that women are protected from discrimination.

Partner Bill

Protecting Victim Confidentiality (H.3370)

This bill provides that non-profit sexual assault and domestic violence provider organizations are not required to disclose certain confidences acquired by clients during the provision of services to those clients.

WREN promotes laws and policies that create an environment where women and girls are free from violence. Those organizations who serve victims should be able to maintain confidences of their clients without punishment.

Partner Bill

Wage History and Transparency (H.3589)

This bill would make it unlawful to rely on wage history to set employee wages and would require an employer to provide a wage range for positions.

WREN supports all efforts to close the wage gap in South Carolina. Asking for prior wage history can lead to an employee with equal or superior qualifications making less than a coworker doing the same job simply because they happened to make less in their prior position. Studies show that increased pay transparency creates work environments where employees are more likely to believe they are paid fairly, and thus are more engaged and productive.

Partner Bill

Equal Pay for State Employees (H.3147)

This bill would make it unlawful for state employees to be paid differently on the basis of sex. African American women earn 53 cents compared to the dollar by white men. White women earn 74 cents. Overall, South Carolina has a larger wage gap than the national average.

WREN supports all efforts to close the wage gap in South Carolina.

Partner Bill

Equal Pay for Equal Work (H. 3139)

This bill would ensure that employees may not be paid differently on the basis of sex. African American women earn 53 cents compared to the dollar by white men. White women earn 74 cents. Overall, South Carolina has a larger wage gap than the national average.

WREN supports all efforts to close the wage gap in South Carolina.

Partner Bill

Addressing Child Marriage Bill (H.3369 & S.196)

This bill would remove the pregnancy exemption from South Carolina’s marriage law so that no marriages are allowed if the minor is under the age 16.

We support S.196, because child marriage has devastating, lifelong consequences for individuals, and also undermines the health and well-being of our families and communities

Partner Bill

Redistricting Bill (H. 3054)

The bill would help to create less polarization in politics, increase accountability to voters by elected officials, and higher level of voter engagement because citizens will know their votes matter.

WREN works to promote leadership and civic participation by women and youth and wants an effective, responsive government for all South Carolinians. WREN supports H. 3054 which would create an independent nonpartisan redistricting process with criteria for boundary definition that emphasize fairness to voters rather than to incumbents or parties.

 

Partner Bill

Equal Rights Amendment ( H.3391 & H.3340)

The women of South Carolina and the United States should be represented in the United States Constitution and guaranteed the right from discrimination based on sex.

WREN supports the ERA and all policies that ensure that women are protected from discrimination.