The Star-Ledger

Adopt N.J.'s Family-Leave Program, Not Rubio's

The Star-Ledger — August 12, 2018

Letter to the Editor

U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio's fake paid family-leave proposal has gotten panned by advocates and experts. And no wonder. It's reckless, ill-conceived and takes no lessons from states such as New Jersey that have already have paid family-leave programs. Legislation (S2825/A3975) sponsored by state Senate President Steve Sweeney, D-Gloucester, and Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, D-Union, that improves and expands New Jersey's program would do much more for workers and their families than the proposal from Rubio, R-Fla.

It's incredible that our nation has no paid family-leave program or policy. No one should have to choose between a paycheck and caring for a dying parent, a newborn child or another family member in need.

Here in New Jersey, we have had a program since 2009, but it has not lived up to its full promise. Far too many working families have found the program unaffordable or inaccessible for other reasons. Sweeney's bill would change that.

Incredibly, the paid family leave bill Rubio proposed would raid Social Security to pay for a paid parental-leave program. And it would exclude the three-quarters of people who take leave for family caregiving, while undermining families' retirement security.

Dena Mottola Jaborska Associate director, New Jersey Citizen Action

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