Friday, January 21, 2022

Play

Despite a failed attempt in the U.S. Senate, more than 200 business owners call for federal reforms to strengthen election laws, and the U.S. Supreme Court deals another blow to abortion providers.

Play

President Biden gets cheers and jeers as he marks his first year in the White House, the Jan. 6 committee wants to hear from Ivanka Trump, and the Supreme Court rejects another challenge to the Texas abortion law.

Play

Expanded broadband akin to electrification in rural America 80 years ago; small Wyoming grocery store survives monopolization; revitalized Kansas town gets national recognition; and Montana's Native communities look for voter suppression work-arounds.

Infrastructure Plan to Include Paid Family Leave for Utah, U.S.

Play

Friday, April 2, 2021   

SALT LAKE CITY - President Joe Biden says he will include a federal paid leave program as part of his multi-trillion-dollar infrastructure plan to rebuild America.

The program includes updates and repairs to roads, bridges and utilities - then, it's expected to tackle family issues, such as access to health care, affordable childcare and paid leave for all workers.

Advocates for working families say the pandemic underscores the need in states like Utah that have no state-level leave policy. Dawn Huckelbridge, director of the Paid Leave for All campaign said the new stimulus is an opportunity to establish a national policy.

"We can't come out of a pandemic without making some structural changes, and without honoring the people who really carried us through this," said Huckelbridge. "Particularly the front-line workers who have continued going into work every day, at risk to their own health, often without the guarantee of a single paid day of leave."

According to Paid Leave for All, only about two in ten American workers have access to paid leave.

In Utah, employers are not required to provide paid or unpaid leave. Utah lawmakers have said those types of policies should be set by individual employers.

Vasu Reddy - senior policy counsel at the National Partnership for Women and Families - disagreed, and said the lack of paid leave is doing real harm to families across the country.

In the last year, many Utahns have been caught between caregiving responsibilities and economic security. Reddy pointed out that many child-care facilities closed in the pandemic, leaving families in a bind.

"Those folks have been put in this impossible situation of figuring out, 'What am I going to do, because I don't have access to this really commonsense policy that would really help at this moment?'" said Reddy.

A National Partnership study shows 79% of U.S. voters in 2020 supported a permanent paid family and medical leave program. Several bills to expand paid leave were filed in the most recent Utah legislative session, but none survived.


get more stories like this via email

Sen. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2018 to fill the seat previously held by Republican Jeff Flake. (Flickr)

Social Issues

A wave of new Arizona voters in the 2020 election changed the normally conservative state to one where progressive candidates and ideas have a fightin…


Environment

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers plans to use federal funds for a project to help keep invasive carp out of the Great Lakes. It is proposing using …

Environment

As Pennsylvania continues to grow its solar-energy capacity, a new report found the roofs of big-box stores present a big opportunity to increase …


While such issues as tax cuts are getting attention in the Iowa Legislature, some advocacy groups hope policymakers don't lose sight of programs they say would improve health outcomes. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

If Iowa wants to create healthier outcomes for its residents, advocates say there are steps policymakers can take right now to make it happen…

Social Issues

North Dakota has returned a significant portion of the rental assistance provided by the federal government in the pandemic, but groups working …

The investigation by multiple states' attorneys general into the student-loan practices of Navient dates back to 2017. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Nearly 1,200 Hoosiers are about to have some of their student-loan debt forgiven, as part of a multistate settlement with the student-loan-servicing …

Social Issues

After a defeat on Wednesday, Democrats in the U.S. Senate say they'll keep trying to pass voting-rights legislation, and one Wisconsin group wants …

Social Issues

Bridgeport is one of six U.S. cities selected for an 18-month project kicking off this month, to create more education and career opportunities for …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021