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State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and 16 State Treasurers from Maine to California say federal paid family & medical leave is critical to rebuilding the economy post-COVID, responding to a “chronic care crisis that has been simmering for generations.” 
MADISON, Wis. —Today, State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski and 16 elected state treasurers from across the country released an open letter to congressional leaders urging the inclusion and passage of federal paid family and medical leave in President Biden’s soon to be released American Families Plan. As State Treasurer, Godlewski advocates for the economic security of Wisconsinites and a healthy economy for our state.

“The pandemic taught us in drastic terms that the status quo isn’t working for working families. We need a bold national paid leave policy so people can recover from an illness or care for loved ones without fear of getting fired or losing a paycheck,” said Wisconsin State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski. “This is not only good for workers, but it’s also good for our economy. We must do better — and the widespread, bipartisan support from the public, and the business community, prove that we can. It’s time for Congress to listen to working families and pass President Biden’s paid leave proposal in the American Families Plan.”

“State treasurers are our proverbial canary in the coal mine,” said Annie Sartor, PL+US Senior Director of Business Partnerships. “They are intimately acquainted with the systemic risk we’re bearing without federal paid family and medical leave which make their advocacy especially important for legislators who want to see our country and working families’ economic success.”

The signers include the State Treasurers of California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington, and Wisconsin.

The letter, organized by Paid Leave for the United States (PL+US) and For the Long Term, cites broad support for paid leave from the business community and makes it clear that the United State’s position as “the only high-income country that does not have a national paid leave public policy in place” creates “tremendous risks” for the economy, especially in the wake of the COVID crisis. Without a federal policy in place, only nine states and the District of Columbia, have paid leave programs in place, which leaves a patchwork of state programs and the overwhelming majority of states’ finances and investments vulnerable to potential investment losses and operational risks

A strong, comprehensive national paid leave policy, the letter says, would “not only secure a baseline of economic security for working families,” but would also support “businesses by standardizing policy, reducing costs, and building resilience to weather future economic or public health crises. The full letter is available here.

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