Coalition issues statement on paid family and sick leave

The Delaware Cares Coalition for Paid Vacation issued a statement on behalf of its more than 50 affiliates to close the 2021 legislature on June 30th.

“Delawareans have made it clear during this term that paid family and sick leave is key to our economic recovery from this pandemic and beyond. We’re thrilled to see that with the passing of the FY 2022 Bond Bill, $ 10 million has been set aside should next year’s General Assembly approve – and they must – the Healthy Delaware Families Act, SB 1.

This inclusion is a direct result of the thousands of Delaware residents who signed petitions, contacted their lawmakers, shared their stories, and joined our movement to make Delaware the tenth state to survive paid family and sick leave.

While we have much to celebrate, the work goes unfinished as thousands of Delaware residents continue to make impossible choices today between their job, their health, and their families. These Delawareeans just can’t wait another year for this law to pass. After a year of such hardship, paid family and sick leave are part of the solution that gives every Delaware citizen the chance to live, work, and thrive in the First State.

The Delaware Cares Coalition is calling on the General Assembly to care for working families in Delaware by passing the Healthy Delaware Families Act when they return in January. Our families and our future depend on it. “

In the 2021 legislative period, there was strong support for the basis for paid family and sick leave. The need for a paid vacation policy that addresses the challenges and opportunities of the changing economy has been a focus throughout the legislature.

In February, more than 25 health, religious, labor, business and community organizations formed the Delaware Cares Coalition to provide paid family and sick leave in the First State. In the meantime this coalition has grown to over 50 organizations.

In March, the Delaware Office of Women’s Advancement & Advocacy released its report, entitled Sounding the Alarm: the Impact of COVID-19 on Delaware Women, which includes paid family and sick leave as the primary recommendation to address the disproportionate burden of the pandemic on working women .

In April, the Delaware Senate leadership released a comment calling for a paid family and sick leave program stating it would have “profound implications for the quality of life in our state.” Shortly thereafter, the Delaware Academy of Medicine – Delaware Public Health Association issued a statement advocating paid family and sick leave as a public health imperative.

In May, Senator Sarah McBride, D-Wilmington North; Majority Leader Senator Bryan Townsend, D-Newark; Representative Debra Heffernan, D-Bellefonte; and Majority Leader Rep. Valerie Longhurst, D-Bear, unveiled the Healthy Delaware Families Act, SB 1, with 13 sponsors in the Senate and 18 in the House of Representatives. Affected workers and executives from business, health and advocacy groups took part in the press conference to unveil the law, who emphasized the urgent need for paid family and sick leave.

In June, over 40 groups signed a letter to Governor John Carney urging him to support the Healthy Delaware Families Act, SB 1, and prioritize start-up funding should the General Assembly approve such action when it convened next year.

About Ellen Lewandowski

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