Houlahan, Bice Meet with Frontline Legislators in Paid Leave Fight

InfluenzaImage by Victoria Borodinova

On Tuesday, Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Stephanie Bice (R-OK) invited representatives from states and cities that successfully passed paid leave laws to share their experiences at the second meeting of the Bipartisan Working Group on Paid Family Leave.

Working group members and guests from cities and states at the forefront of the push for paid leave discussed how laws in each respective jurisdiction were enacted, how they’re currently working, and how they are paid for. States in attendance were Colorado, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Washington, as well as the District of Columbia.

The Bipartisan Working Group on Paid Family Leave is made up of six congresspeople — Houlahan and Bice are joined by Representatives Colin Allred (D-TX), Julia Letlow (R-LA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA). This was the group’s second meeting since launching in January. The group aims to meet each month to learn from experts and those most impacted, find common ground solutions, and advance the push for paid leave for America’s working families.

“Our working group’s second meeting was a productive conversation and opportunity to hear actions have been successful across various states with the goal of implementing pragmatic solutions on the federal level,” said Houlahan and Bice. “Learning what has worked and also what state governments have struggled with in the process is helpful as we aim to find bipartisan solutions to improving access to paid leave.”

“Over the last three years we’ve seen Paid Family and Medical Leave become a vital program for people in Washington State. It’s through bipartisanship at the state level and collaboration with other states such as this that we learn, grow and ensure equitable access for all. We look forward to supporting others nationwide to do the same,” said Cami Feek, Commissioner of the Washington State Employment Security Department.

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“We’ve proven in New Jersey that paid family and medical leave can work — and we’ve seen firsthand the better we protect and develop our workforce, the more our businesses thrive. We hope all workers and employers draw from our experiences: strong worker protections and benefits strengthen families, businesses, and the economy,” said Robert Asaro-Angelo, Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor & Workforce Development.

“BPC applauds the House Bipartisan House Paid Leave Working Group for hosting this thoughtful discussion,” said Adrienne Schweer, Bipartisan Policy Center fellow. “It’s important that the group learn from the paid leave programs already in place in thirteen states and the District of Columbia, which provide many design lessons. The input of those state and local leaders with decades of combined experience implementing these programs will make the federal debate stronger and smarter.”

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