For the past month, the Campaign for Paid Family Leave has been hard at work advocating in support of HB 6932 – An Act Concerning Paid Family and Medical Leave. March was a busy month, so keep reading for a quick update about the Campaign and how you can continue to support paid family leave.

First and foremost, a huge thank you to all of you for your ongoing and continuous support! The issue of paid family leave wouldn’t have gotten this far without the stories of parents, families, and caretakers from across Connecticut. In March, the Labor Committee held a public hearing on our bill and many of you came out to testify or show your support of the bill. More than 70 individuals and organizations sent in written testimony in support of paid family leave.

Shortly before the bill came to a vote, the Campaign had a roundtable discussion with special guests, including U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro and the U.S. Deputy Secretary of Labor, Christopher Lu.  State Senator Mae Flexer and State Senator Ed Gomes also joined to show their support. Deputy Secretary Lu took the time to congratulate the Campaign on being one of those leaders to Lead on Leave, a recent DOL initiative. On the federal level, Rep. DeLauro has been working hard in support of a paid leave bill called the Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, or the FAMILY Act. It was an honor that so many leaders came out to discuss the issue.

This outpouring of support, both locally and nationally, has strongly illustrated the need for a system of paid leave. The legislators on the Labor Committee heard your voices and agreed – the paid family leave bill passed through committee with bipartisan support, and will continue to the House for a vote soon!

This wasn’t the only exciting paid family event from last month. The Permanent Commission on the Status of Women dedicated their annual Women’s Day to exploring the issue. The event, titled Paid Family Leave: Not Just A Women’s Issue, featured a panel of caretakers who either benefitted from paid leave or struggled because they could not access it.  Different kinds of caretakers shared why paid family leave was important, including a new dad and the caretaker of a veteran family member. Even though people often think of maternity leave when they hear paid family leave, the panelists made it clear that all kinds of families and caretakers can benefit from the program.

What exciting developments over the past month! The Campaign has accomplished a lot, spoken with leaders on the issue, and had a strong showing of support from people who have shared their stories. However, the fight is not over. We still need your help to show legislators why paid family leave is important for Connecticut residents.

How can you help?  You can snap a selfie with a reason why paid family leave is important to you.  Call your legislator and tell them that paid leave is important to you (if you need help finding your legislator, you can use this tool). Finally, if there was a time that you needed paid family leave (or a time when you did have paid leave and it helped you a lot), please consider submitting your story to the campaign’s story bank. With your help and support, we can make even more progress on the issue of paid family leave.