Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program
Delegate Kelly pushes paid family leave at Monday press conference
For Immediate Release
Contact: The Office of Delegate Ariana Kelly
SILVER SPRING, MD – Today, Maryland State Delegate Ariana Kelly (D-16) and Montgomery County Councilmember Tom Hucker held a press conference to introduce legislation (HB740) to establish a state-run insurance fund for worker who must take unpaid leave due to a serious medical condition; a family member’s military deployment; or, to care for a new child or a family member with a serious illness. The announcement was made at the Silver Spring Civic Building located in downtown Silver Spring, Maryland.
Delegate Kelly and Councilmember Hucker were joined by a broad coalition of paid family and medical leave advocates, including Cindy Carter of the Cindy Carter Cancer Support Foundation, Charly Carter, Executive Director of Maryland Working Families, Colleen Jenkins of MomsRising, MacDonald Davis of the Silver Spring Urban District and UFCW Local 1994 (MCGEO), Julie Verratti (Co-Owner/Co-Founder of Denizens Brewing Company), and Montgomery County Councilmember Hans Riemer.
"This legislation is carefully designed to balance the needs of Maryland working families with the needs of our business community,” said Delegate Kelly. “This program will ensure that Marylanders can afford to take the time off that they need when they face their own health crisis, or must care for an elderly parent or a new baby."
“Too often, the birth of a child becomes a path to poverty for some of our most vulnerable citizens, especially working-class folks, single parents and recent immigrants,” said Councilmember Hucker. “Parents need the peace of mind that comes with paid family leave.”
“Almost every other developed country in the world offers paid family leave so that new parents and other caregivers don’t have to choose between caring for family and meeting their basic expenses. Since an obstructionist Congress makes federal action impossible, it falls on us to move the ball forward for families at the state and local levels,” said Councilmember Hans Riemer. Earlier this year, Councilmember Riemer successfully pursued a federal grant to fund a study by the Council’s Office of Legislative Oversight on a paid family leave program for Montgomery County. The results of that study – which will explore possible designs for a local program and construct a model to determine the likely costs - are expected this fall. A statewide cost projection was conducted as part of this county grant in support of HB740.
HB740, sponsored by Delegate Kelly, is scheduled for an Economic Matters Committee hearing in the House of Delegates on March 1st. State Senator Catherine Pugh (D-40) is cross-filing the bill in the Senate (SB485), with a Finance Committee hearing scheduled for March 3rd. If it passes, Maryland will join Rhode Island, New Jersey, and California as the 4th state in the nation to create a state-run paid family and medical leave fund.