SACRAMENTO (AP) -- U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis says the recession is especially hard on women, who earn less money than men for the same work.
The former California congresswoman cited U.S. Census Bureau figures that show women make 73 cents for every $1 dollar earned by men.
"These are women, these are families with mortgages, grocery bills, prescriptions and other health-related costs they have to face," Solis said Monday in an address to the California Assembly during a ceremony honoring women. "These are women and families that want to retire. These are women and families that deserve economic security."
The address was a sort of homecoming for the Los Angeles-area Democrat, who served in the state Assembly between 1992 and 1994. She later became the first Hispanic woman in the state Senate, where she served from 1994 until her election to Congress in 2000.
Solis also was scheduled to meet with Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and speak in the evening during a labor conference.