January 2023 Public Policy Update

The State Public Policy Committee is preparing for the upcoming legislative session and attended Legislative Day Committee Meetings in early December as a precursor to the formal opening of the 2023 Legislative Session in late January or early February.

The committee is looking for possible legislation that addresses our mission of gender equity and identifying specific legislators and organizations that support the legislation.

The areas of interest include housing, education, early childhood and childcare, healthcare, and age discrimination.

An age discrimination bill (LC 2503) is moving forward and does five things:

  • Restricts the use of characteristics such as salary, retirement, and pension eligibility and healthcare costs which are common subterfuges for age discrimination;
  • Ensures that older workers are given a fair chance during hiring processes by prohibiting employers from requiring age or graduation dates of applicants before completing the initial interview;
  • Prohibits the use of age-preference language in job advertisements;
  • Reaffirms that a bona fide seniority system or offer of voluntary early retirement plans are not discriminatory; and
  • Removes the age restriction on apprenticeship training to comply with federal law.

Given that a bill like this was approved by the committee in the last session, we will support the bill and the organization POWER (Protect Older Workers Employment Rights) to advance the bill.

The committee expects to identify other legislation as bills start to emerge.

The committee urges all AAUW branches and members to familiarize themselves with their local legislators elected to office in the November mid-term election. Some areas have new representatives due to redistricting. We will send out a link to all members with access to their updated legislator contact information in January.

Nadyne Rosin and Claire Berger, Co-Chairs

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