This year marks the 54th anniversary of the federal Equal Pay Act, passed in 1963, to ensure that every American would be paid equally for their hard work, regardless of gender. Yet, more than five decades later, women in Maine earn almost $9,700 a year less than their male counterparts for the same work.

In the Army, I was proud to serve with talented and courageous men and women, and we were all paid based on rank and time of service. Here is my view: if women earn equal pay serving their country in Bosnia, Iraq, and Afghanistan, then they should expect to earn equal pay in Bangor, Presque Isle and Lewiston-Auburn.

Equal pay for equal work means that families across Maine can be more financially secure and active in our economy. This isn’t just common sense; it’s good policy.

As governor of Maine I will fight to make sure that every single citizen is paid fairly for the work they do, regardless of their gender.