Women in New Jersey are increasingly more responsible for the economic security of their families, with nearly 60% of working mothers bringing in a majority of their households income -- yet women still make less money than men.

Today an assembly panel will hear testimony on the gender earnings gap and how it affects New Jersey women.

The Assembly Women and Children committee will urge Congress to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act. Bill sponsor Assemblywoman Pam Lampitt says its time that pay among men and women are equal.

"We have done a lot of research on this and we have looked at how a lot of other states have done this, in reference to the fairness of a paycheck so its time to move into the 21st century and make this equal for men and women."

On average, a woman working full time year-round in the state is paid a little over $44,000 while her male counterpart earns $57,000.

Lampitt says as a group, full-time working women in New Jersey lose about $15 billion each year due to the gender income gap, and if eliminated, women in the state would have more money for groceries, housing costs and utilities.

"When women get out of college in the state...they pay the same tuition as a man does...so why when they go out into the real world and get a job can't they expect to get the same pay as a man does?"

She says they will hear from representatives from the Rutgers Workforce Development Center, discrimination lawyers and others who have a stake in this issue.

"In the end its about making this fair for all women...so they can pay their bills, buy groceries, etc." said Lampitt.