Saturday, July 2, 2022

Play

The U.S. Supreme Court strips the EPA's power to curb pollution, California takes a big step toward universal health care, and a Florida judge will temporarily block the state's 15-week abortion ban.

Play

SCOTUS significantly limits the Clean Air Act and rules against the "Stay in Mexico" policy, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is sworn in to office, and President Biden endorses a filibuster carveout for abortion rights.

Play

From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

MD Paid Leave Supporters: It's Time for the Time to Care Act

Play

Monday, December 13, 2021   

ANNAPOLIS, Md. -- Advocacy groups say a paid leave proposal in Maryland would provide peace of mind for workers, especially those with disabilities and their families.

The Time to Care Act is expected to be before the General Assembly when it returns in January. It would establish a statewide insurance program that would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave.

Myles Hicks, executive director of the group Maryland Rise, said it would help people deal with family health issues, care for themselves or a newborn, a family member, or a member of the military.

"No one should have to choose between caring for the family they love and going to work and getting a paycheck," Hicks asserted.

Opponents argue most large private employers already provide paid time off, and say the measure would be a burden on businesses. The act was introduced last session but never made it out of committee.

Rachel London, executive director of the Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council, said the pandemic has made clear paid leave is vital to families facing health challenges.

"And for people with disabilities and their families access to paid leave means increased opportunities, more flexibility, and an increase in financial resources," London outlined.

The program would require a 50-50 split between employers and workers, with an estimated weekly employee contribution between $3 and $6.

Hicks explained workers who care for a child or adult with disabilities or health issues are at greater risk of losing income, and people with disabilities are more likely to be employed in low-wage part-time jobs providing fewer benefits.

"For those who are living with disabilities, those disabilities can arise unexpectedly," Hicks explained. "You never know when you might flare up or have an unexpected issue, so it's very important that paid family leave benefit is around so just in case you are experiencing an issue that was unexpected."

The Build Back Better Act, recently passed by the U.S. House, guarantees four weeks of paid leave.

London acknowledged its future is uncertain.

"We don't know what's going to happen," London stated. "So it is critical for states to take the lead on this issue and show that workers are important and recognize the needs of people with disabilities and their families across Maryland."

She added most industrialized countries have a national paid leave policy, as do nine states and the District of Columbia.

Disclosure: Maryland Developmental Disabilities Council contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Civil Rights, Disabilities, and Health Issues. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…


Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Environment

The Environmental Protection Agency now has fewer tools to fight climate change, after the U.S. Supreme Court stripped the agency of its authority to …


The only memorial to Anne Frank is located in Boise. (Kencf0618/Wikimedia Commons)

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …

Environment

Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …

Medicare fraud costs taxpayers an estimated $60 billion each year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

A new tool aims to help older adults in Arkansas and beyond who receive Medicare track what happens at their doctor appointments. It also can help …

Social Issues

A campaign in Maine is gathering signatures to replace the state's investor-owned energy grid with a consumer-owned utility. Central Maine Power (…

Social Issues

Another important U.S. Supreme Court ruling this month has been overshadowed by the controversy about overturning abortion rights. Legal experts say …

 

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