On Tuesday, March 8th, the Labor Committee held a public hearing on paid family and medical leave. It was a very exciting day! There was a huge showing of support for paid leave— thank you so much to everyone who came out.

More than 25 individuals and organizations submitted written testimony in support of paid leave, clearly showing that this is an issue that matters to Connecticut residents. Employees shared stories of the economic hardships they faced when they took much needed time off to care for their loved ones. Matt Arciuolo, owner of Arciuolo’s Shoes, explained that paid leave benefits businesses by increasing employee retention and commitment. Isa Mujahid, founder of Community Organizing for Racial Equality, explained that paid leave is necessary to allow fathers to care for their new babies and their partners who have just given birth. We are so grateful to all of you for sharing your stories, some of which were very personal. We believe you made a difference.

We were also honored that U.S. Representative Rosa DeLauro offered testimony to the Committee, passionately speaking about why paid leave is important to her. She explained that she needed leave when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, and though she was able to receive it, many are not that fortunate. She also highlighted the fact that paid leave will benefit women and men because it can be used for wide range of purposes. Additionally, she noted that she is pushing for paid leave on a national level, but that Connecticut should lead the way on the state level. Members of Congress rarely testify at public hearings, so we are delighted that Representative DeLauro was able to fit this important testimony into her busy schedule.

On March 10, the Labor Committee’s voted to approve the paid family and medical leave bill! In a bipartisan vote, the Committee members recognized that paid leave is not something we want, it’s something we need. The public hearing testimony was clear. We need to care of our aging parents. We need to bond with our new children. We need time to recover from serious illnesses.

Following this success, the bill will advance to the floor for consideration. This victory speaks loudly, and the Campaign is thrilled for more to follow in the upcoming weeks!