One of the casualties of the Great Recession was funding for an October 2009 launch of Washington’s vanguard Family and Medical Leave Insurance program.
At the outset of 2009, it appeared our strong Family Leave Coalition had won the necessary support from state policy makers to expand benefits. These benefits would have covered care for a worker’s own health condition or a seriously ill family member and care for a new child–all funded by a modest payroll premium.
However, the depths of the state fiscal crisis derailed those plans, and the legislature postponed implementation. The result: an estimated 72,000 families that would have benefited from family and medical leave insurance in 2010 will continue to struggle with issues of family health and economic security.
The financial security and time to care provided by paid family leave are more important than ever in times like these. We’ll continue to work with state leaders to get an expanded and fully funded Family Leave Insurance program back on track.