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PSN on December 3, 2007 - 10:49am
[Note: Progressive States has partnered with MomsRising in promoting many key policies to help families better balance the demands of work and family and the following updates comes from information shared among allied organizations due to MomsRising's good work. You can see a list of their allied organizations at http://momsrising.org/aboutmomsrising.]
The 2007 to 2008 legislative sessions are shaping up to be ones where work and family issues take center stage, as voters increasingly demand that legislatures make giving people the time to care for their families the priority it is every day at the kitchen table. Below are a few of those key issues and the organizations active in different states.
Paid Family Leave
- California - Work and Family Coalition: Advocates successfully passed a package of reforms to extend the state's paid and unpaid leave laws to cover grandparents, siblings, parents-in-law and grandchildren (SB727 and AB537 respectively), along with SB836 which would prohibit discrimination based on a worker's family status, only to see Governor Schwartzenegger veto all three, meaning all three issues will no doubt be around for 2008.
- Illinois' Women Employed is working with a coalition to pass a Family Leave Insurance Program (FLIP) which would provide four weeks of paid family and medical leave at 67% of wages up to $380 per week.
- New Jersey Time to Care Coalition has been supporting S2249 which would provide up to 12 weeks of family leave at up to $502 per week to care for sick family members or to care for a newborn or newly adopted child. The Governor and leaders in both chambers have committed to passing the bill by early 2008.
- New York Time to Care Coalition is supporting A-9245 which would provide 12 weeks of family leave at up to $170 per week to care for sick family members, new babies, or newly adopted children. The New York State Assembly passed the bill in June and there is strong hope that the State Senate will pass the bill in 2008.
- The Oregon House, led by Oregon Representative Diane Rosenbaum, this year passed a Family Leave bill to provide six weeks of paid leave to take care of family members or new children, but the Senate failed to act, although the bill will likely be reintroduced in 2008.
- Washington's Economic Opportunity Institute worked with a broad coalition to help make Washington the second state in the nation to provide paid family leave for all companies.
Paid Days Off
- Colorado 9to5 has built a work-family coalition to support state policy efforts to provide parents time off from work to attend children's school activities and to guarantee workers paid sick days.
- Connecticut ACORN has led a coalition for a paid sick days bill, SB 601, that passed the Senate in May but did not make it through the House, but will be reintroduced with high hopes of being enacted.
- DC Employment Justice Center is leading a coalition for a bill requiring 10 paid sick days annually (five for employers with five or fewer employees). All Councilmembers have vowed to pass the bill.
- Florida ACORN led a coalition in that state for a paid sick days bill that did not pass but will likely resurface in future sessions.
- Georgia's Job/Family Collaborative is working to support the Parent Protection Act which would provide up to 24 hours of unpiad, job-protecte leave for people to attend school conferences or for family member medical appointments.
- The Maine Women's Lobby will be working with the Work and Family Coalition in 2008 to promote a law, LD 1454, guaranteeing up to nine paid sick days per year in firms with 25 or more employees.
- Maryland ACORN led a coalition for a paid sick days bill, HB 832 / SB 828, that stalled in the legislature this year but will be reintroduced in 2008.
- In Massachusetts, Greater Boston Legal Services led a Paid Family Leave Coalition to provide seven paid sick days annually. The bill is getting favorable support in both the legislature and from key allies throughout the state.
- In Minnesota, a coalition led by Minnesota ACORN advocated for SF 1324 /HF 1334 for paid sick days in that state, but the bill did not advance in 2007.
- Missouri ACORN worked to promote SB 637, a paid sick days bill.
- North Carolina Justice Center is leading a coalition to pass HB 1711 to provide up to seven paid sick days annually.
- Paid Sick Days Ohio has successfully collected the 120,000 signatures necessary to put a paid sick days bill to a vote in the legislature and, if it doesn't pass, intends to collect the additional 120,000 signatures to put the measure on the ballot in November 2008.
- In Pennsylvania PathWaysPA has generated 10,000 postcards to the Governor and state legislators in support of paid sick days legislation.
- Voices for Vermont's Children in 2007 promoted H 337 to provide seven paid sick days annually.
- Healthy Families West Virginia will be introducing legislation to guarantee workers paid sick days each year.
- In Wisconsin, 9to5 co-chairs the Keep Families First Coalition which is promoting a paid sick days bill and a school leave bill to allow parents to use up to 16 hours of Family and Medical Leave time to attend activities and conferences at their children's schools.