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Pay discrimination bill advances to governor's desk

The pay gap between men and women is getting wider in Wisconsin.

According to the state Women's Council, females get 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. That's according to the latest available data from 2007.

And the gap is 1 cent bigger than what the Council reported a year ago.

Also, Wisconsin females are worse off than their national counterparts.

The Council says U.S. women get 79.9 cents for every dollar a man makes. That's almost 3 cents more than the state's average.

The Council said the average hourly wage for women was $13.96, compared to $18.05 for men.

Spread over a year, women average about $8,500 less than men.

The Council's report was released on Tuesday, which was National Pay Equity Day. It meant the average woman had to work all of 2008 plus almost four months of 2009, to make the same money a man did last year.

Wisconsin senators chose Pay Equity Day to pass a bill that lets judges punish companies for pay and hiring discrimination against women and minorities.

The Assembly approved the bill Wednesday, and sent it to Gov. Jim Doyle, who's expected to sign it.