The vote of 84 to 32 came during the debate on a bill which would have prohibited local governments from setting their own minimum wages. Rep. Alyce. Clarke (D-Jackson) offered an equal pay amendment. Clarke stated that it only states that men and women get equal pay for the same work. Clarke said that Mississippi is one state that does not have an equal-pay law, while Alabama is the other. Advocates of equal pay, who have long maintained that the idea is supported by both parties, were able to vote Friday. Rep. Mark Baker (R-Brandon) said Clarke’s proposed amendment was unnecessary since federal law already prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. Pay equity was the topic of at least three bills filed in this session. None were brought up by committee. Baker did not vote on the amendment but indicated during debate that he was against it. “This amendment simply reiterates the law in every respect. Baker, who is also the chair of the Judiciary A Committee, to which the fair-pay bill was assigned, said that the amendment does not provide any additional relief. Baker noted that the fair-pay debate was prompted by the minimum wage bill, which states that local governments can adopt and enforce their own antidiscrimination policies. According to U.S. Department of Labor analysis, women make 79 cents per dollar that men earn. This trend is roughly followed by Mississippi. According to the April 2017 report by the Washington D.C.-based National Partnership for Women and Families, women in Mississippi make approximately 76 cents for each dollar earned by their male counterparts. The report shows that black women who work full time year round earn only 56 percent of the salaries earned by white, non-Hispanic males. Ten Republican legislators changed their votes after the initial tally: Robert Foster of Hernando, Andy Gipson from Braxton, Joey Hood of Ackerman and Chris Johnson of Hattiesburg; Steve Massengill at Hickory Flat; Ray Rogers at Pearl; Jody Steverson in Ripley; Tom Weathersby of Florence. Donnie Bell (of Fulton) and Missy McGee (of Hattiesburg) did not record their votes at first, but later changed their votes to “yes”. Final action on the bill which will decide if the issue advances was delayed due to a point-of-order about an aspect of the bill. Before any further action on the bill can be taken, Philip Gunn (R-Clinton), House Speaker must decide on the point. Gunn cannot make that ruling in a given timeframe.