Caucus supports affordable child care, paid sick leave, women’s health
LANSING – The Women’s Democratic Caucus is celebrating Mother’s Day and Michigan moms by fighting for legislation that would make quality child care more affordable, improve access to women’s health care and ensure that paid sick time is available to hardworking Michigan men and women.
“Women across the state are working harder than ever to provide their kids with a quality education, put food on the table and turn their dreams into reality,” said Rep. Marcia Hovey-Wright (D-Muskegon), chairwoman of the Women’s Democratic Caucus. “They deserve elected leaders who work just as hard to help Michigan moms create economic stability for their families and reach for a better life.”
The Womens’ Democratic Caucus is working to pass legislation that would:
• Create child care tax credit (HB 4005 – Rep. Dian Slavens)
• Require most employers to offer paid sick leave to their employees (HB 4706 – Rep. Rudy Hobbs)
• Prohibit discrimination against mothers who nurse in public (SB 674, which is similar to HB 4733 – Rep. Rashida Tlaib)
• Provide women with detailed information on dense breast tissue in order to combat breast cancer (HB 4260 – Rep. Winnie Brinks)
• Prohibit employers from discriminating against workers on the basis of reproductive health care decisions (House Bill 5416 – Hovey-Wright)
“More women are the primary breadwinners in their families than ever before, and many of them are struggling to find higher-paying jobs so they can better support their families,” Rep. Dian Slavens (D-Canton) said. “The high cost of child care is a significant hurdle to many women who want to fully participate in the workplace. My legislation would create a crucial tax credit that will make child care more affordable and help more women re-enter the workplace or advance their careers.”
Several of the bills supported by the Women’s Democratic Caucus acknowledge the pressure working moms feel as they struggle to balance workplace demands against family needs. HB 4706 would require most businesses around the state to allow workers to take paid sick leave either to care for themselves or a sick family member, such as a child or parent.
“A healthy workforce leads to a healthy community and a healthy economy.” Rep. Rudy Hobbs (D-Southfield) said. “Mothers and fathers want to be able to care for a sick child who needs their help, and companies want workers who can give their all on the job. Having just a few earned sick days a year can provide working mothers much-needed economic security and the flexibility to properly care for themselves and their children.”
Other bills backed by the Women’s Democratic Caucus aim to improve the health of Michigan women. The breast density bill would require health care providers to notify women when a mammogram determines they have dense breast tissue, which is more likely to develop tumors and also makes tumors harder to detect. The breastfeeding bills would establish breastfeeding as a civil right and protect moms who nurse in public.
“Michigan’s dedicated and loving moms deserve more than a card and flowers this Mother’s Day,” Hovey-Wright said. “Saying that moms are loved and appreciated is one thing, but creating policies that support them and help them care for their families demonstrates true respect for motherhood. I urge all Michigan legislators to vote for policies that would help not only their own mothers, but all moms across our state.”
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State Representative Dian Slavens
21st House District