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Senator Shirley K. Turner (D-Mercer) testifies during today’s Senate voting session.


TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Shirley K. Turner (D-Mercer, Hunterdon) urging the heads of all the state’s interscholastic athletic conferences to reverse a misguided decision and adopt an equal pay scale for officials of public school girls’ and boys’ lacrosse games was approved by the Senate today.

The resolution, SR62, follows a decision by the heads of the state’s interscholastic conferences to adopt different pay scales for officials at lacrosse games. The proposal for the 2014-2017 term would pay girls’ lacrosse officials $124 per game, while boys’ officials would earn $135 per game. The girl’s lacrosse games are predominately officiated by women, compounding an existing problem of pay inequality in our society.  The change was allegedly proposed because of a lack of contact and the different pace of girls’ games from boys’.

“I hope the athletic conferences hear the bipartisan voices in the Senate and reverse a decision that is disrespectful to the work of women officials,” Turner said. “Letting the decision stand sends the wrong message to our female students that somehow society puts less value on their hard work.”

The state’s various interscholastic conferences set their own pay scale for officials, but typically base changes on recommendations from a state-wide athletic association. Senator Turner has been advocating for the change since it was first brought to her attention last fall by women lacrosse officials.

The resolution will now be sent to the heads of the athletic conferences.