First, thanks for hosting this show!
It's funny, the comments here are about as lopsided in favor of this bill as the testimony was last week in the senate committee hearing. 40 in favor, 3 against.
While I come at this issue as a parent with 2 young children, both of whom I had while working full and 80% time, respectively, it has truly become a broader issue as my parents age across the country. Not only did I exhaust my (scant) sick and vacation time to make up for my lost income while home with newborns (recovering from birth and newly parenting), I exhausted it again to care for my father (then 75) after surgery. After which I had 2 young kids and not one single hour of sick leave. Yet strangely, in this country, I'm one of the lucky, because I had those benefits at all.
Our family budget factors in my income, of course, so when it disappears (and health care premiums accrued during the time off are due upon return to work) and the bills don't, one has to scramble. Save? Possibly. If you earn enough and foresee the crisis. With more than 50% of pregnancies and, (dare I say) all family health crises, unforeseen, saving is not always an option. Take from your retirement? Doesn't seem prudent.
And in our case, my husband simply worked a lot to pick up extra money; sure would have been nice to enter parenthood as a team, not a juggling act. Did it work? We paid the bills. Was it how I would have liked to begin parenting? Absolutely not. Did I know I'd feel that way before the baby was born - when there was still time to plan? Of course not, how could I? I hadn't become a mother yet - that's when you "get" how all this feels, how you're stuck in a system that undervalues and therefore doesn't accomodate family life.
The current system isn't working (we're one of 4 countries on the planet w/o paid family leave - surely we're not the ones who've gotten this *right*), people are choosing between providing for their families and caring for them, which isn't a choice I think people should have to make. When my parents are dying, my child is seriously ill, or my husband has a car accident, I plan to be there, caring for them the way I should - not at my desk because the PGE bill is due. That's not the Oregon I want to live in. You?
posted 4 years, 1 month ago
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