Building a Caring Economy
Paid Family & Medical Leave
We all work hard to provide for our families and contribute to our communities. That’s why it’s important to be there for some of life’s most important moments – the birth of a child, taking care of a sick family member, and recovering from illness or injury ourselves.
Because of lobbying from corporate interests, the United States is one of only six countries with no guarantee for workers to take time off work to care for themselves, a loved one, or a newborn child. I have championed the fight for Paid Family Leave in the Vermont Legislature and will take this fight to the State House to create a national plan for federally guaranteed paid family and medical leave. That plan would ensure all workers have at least 12 weeks to care for a newborn or newly adopted child, a relative or chosen family member, or their own medical needs. The benefits must replace enough wages so this leave is truly accessible, especially for low-income workers who would not be able to afford to leave if it meant a loss in income.
Families everywhere are being forced to spend a significant chunk of their income on child care, with low-income families facing expenses as high as 35% of their earnings. Meanwhile, the childcare workforce, which was already stretched thin, has been decimated by the pandemic.
Fixing this will be a top priority for me in the Senate. We must fund high-quality, good-paying childcare jobs. In Montpelier, I’ll support a universal federal program that caps childcare costs for all families, makes pre-kindergarten free, and finances additional childcare providers so that every community has access to the childcare services they need.
Home & Community-Based Services
Too many families face daunting costs for long-term care, whether for an elderly parent or a loved one with a disability. I support investments in quality home and community-based services to bring down these costs, eliminate waitlists for essential care, and provide home care workers with the pay, benefits, and rights they deserve. This workforce is disproportionately women of color and immigrants who have historically been undervalued. It’s time to recognize the critical role they play in our society.