FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nation’s Top Family Leave Expert Welcomes Vote by
Key Senate Subcommittee to Provide $10 Million in Grants to
Help States Adopt the Paid Leave Programs Families Urgently Need
Statement of Debra L. Ness, President, National Partnership for Women & Families
WASHINGTON, D.C. — July 28, 2010 —
"The vote yesterday by the Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies of the Senate Appropriations Committee to provide $10 million for competitive grants to help states pay costs for paid leave programs is a badly needed first step in bringing our nation’s antiquated leave policies into the 21st century.
This is a welcome down payment on funding to help states put in place the sensible, compassionate paid family leave programs that hard-working Americans need. The Paid Leave Fund can begin driving innovations that ultimately mean that fewer workers will have to make painful choices between providing care for their families and earning the paychecks they need to survive.
The National Partnership has championed this measure for many years because we are convinced that this start-up money will help more states adopt paid leave programs. We strongly support providing the $50 million for this program that President Obama recommended in his FY 2011 budget, and therefore urge the full Committee and Senate to maintain or increase this appropriation, and to prioritize it when this bill is considered in conference with the House.
We also are pleased that the Senate Subcommittee increased funding for some health programs, with a focus on preventing chronic diseases and $40 million allocated for medical home demonstration projects. Both of these measures can help advance the coordinated, patient-centered care that will help us realize the promise of reform."
The National Partnership for Women & Families drafted and led the fight to pass the Family & Medical Leave Act. It is a non-profit, non-partisan advocacy group dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace, access to quality health care and policies that help women and men meet the dual demands of work and family.