Delegate Ariana Kelly and Montgomery County Government Partner to Win Funding for Paid Family Leave Feasibility Study

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For Immediate Release

Sept. 29, 2015

Maryland Jurisdiction Awarded Federal Paid Family and Medical Leave Grant

Delegate Ariana Kelly partners with Montgomery County Government to Conduct Feasibility Study 

Today, State Delegate Ariana Kelly and Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer announced a successful state—county collaboration moving us towards paid family leave in Maryland. U.S. Secretary of Labor Tom Perez announced Montgomery County, Maryland as one of eight jurisdictions awarded competitive grants to advance policy initiatives establishing state run paid family and medical leave.

"To move paid family and medical leave forward in Maryland, we needed access to this funding. Because the Hogan Administration was not interested in applying, I partnered with my colleagues on the Montgomery County Council to win this grant and keep Maryland moving forward," Delegate Kelly said.

The federal grant will allow Montgomery County to partner with state and national experts to begin designing a paid family and medical leave program for Maryland. California, New Jersey, and Rhode Island already have similar programs. 

In 2014, Delegate Kelly passed HB1026 which required small businesses to give maternity & paternity leave to their employees. In 2015, she introduced HB 985, which would set up a state fund- similar to unemployment insurance- to pay employees for parental, medical, and caregiving leaves. This Montgomery County grant will provide State legislators with answers to technical questions about effective program design they need to move the bill forward in the next legislative session.

"Thanks to a partnership with Secretary Perez and the Montgomery County Council, the State of Maryland will be positioned to move forward in providing an important social safety net for all workers who develop a serious illness or have a baby. This should not be a benefit just for the privileged few," Delegate Kelly said.

Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer and his talented staff lead the effort in Montgomery County and gathered unanimous support from his County Council colleagues to support this research.

Councilmember Riemer adds "I am so pleased that the U.S. Department of Labor has awarded this grant for us to study how to implement such a program, how much it would cost, and who would benefit."

 U.S. Department of Labor Secretary Tom Perez adds, "This study will help further our understanding of the issue and design programs that work for our economy. We must expand paid family and medical leave, for the good of our families and the strength of our economy."

If you have any questions or for more information, please call Holly Vandegrift call (301) 542-5460.

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