Legislators in the state House will be introducing a bill to create a paid family leave program for Pennsylvania. State Rep. Wendi Thomas, the bill’s sponsor, spoke to constituents at a press conference about the Family Care Act Wednesday morning.
Thomas stood alongside State Rep. Dan Miller (D-Allegheny) and State Senators Maria Collet (D-Montgomery/Bucks) and Dan Laughlin ( R-Erie) in the Capitol Rotunda. A small business owners’ story of overcoming a tragedy is Thomas’ inspiration for introducing the bill.
”Her mother had become very ill and was in the final weeks of her life,” Thomas explained. “During this period, the daughter struggled to keep her business afloat while she cared for her dying mother. She had no options. I want to give her one.”
In this bill, small pay deductions would fund the plan leaving in jurisdiction of the Department of Labor and Industry. Those employees who are eligible would receive funds when caring for a loved one stricken with serious health emergencies. Thomas says this bill will also help and improve the Commonwealth’s economy.
“While Pennsylvania’s economic health is strong, and we are drawing business to the state, we must also attract and keep workers. That’s why we need policies that help young families but does not place pressure on our state budget”.
Paid family leave plans already exist in New York, New Jersey, and several other states. The governor of Connecticut is expected to sign a similar bill soon.
Representative Thomas will introduce the bill on the house side and Senator Dan Laughlin will introduce the bill on the Senate side. Video of the press conference is available below.