WASHINGTON — In recognition of Women’s History Month, the DLCC is highlighting the continued work of Democratic state legislatures to support women and families by passing paid sick and family leave, affordable and accessible child care, and early education policies. Women often bear the brunt of caregiving responsibilities and must juggle work, family, and household responsibilities without proper support. These types of policies support the overall economy by getting parents back to work, filling open jobs, and lifting families out of poverty while simultaneously improving child outcomes.
“State Democrats recognize that our social infrastructure lags behind other wealthy countries, draining our economy’s potential and putting an enormous burden on women who are often the primary caregivers,” said DLCC executive director Heather Williams. “Family-friendly policies like paid sick and family leave, affordable and accessible child care, and early education are smart investments that pay tremendous dividends in our future. Voters know that Democratic state legislatures are working to put families first and will continue to strengthen our economy without sacrificing the well-being of our loved ones.”
Family-friendly policies passed by state Democrats:
- 14 Democratic states have adopted paid sick leave. Paid leave benefits businesses and the overall economy by boosting worker retention, productivity, and labor force participation.
- Connecticut’s new paid family and medical leave program went into effect in December 2021, allowing workers to take paid time off to raise a child or care for a sick family member.
- Maryland Democrats are pushing to pass 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave this legislative session.
- California Democrats approved funding for universal pre-K and significantly expanded child care.
- New Mexico Democrats sent a constitutional amendment to voters that would increase spending on universal pre-K.
- Oregon lawmakers approved a child care package this year that would make child care more affordable for working families and address the state’s child care workforce shortage by investing in, recruiting, and training child care providers.
- Vermont legislators passed a $12.7 million child care bill aimed at lowering costs to help parents get back to work.
- Virginia Democrats passed legislation to expand access and eligibility for child care assistance.