2019 Legislative Agenda Issue Update

Family and Medical Leave Insurance

Creating a program to provide family and medical leave insurance is one of nine issues on the Alliance's 2019 Legislative Agenda, along with two additional issues being monitored. This issue newsletter is part of a series that provides more information on each priority issue on the Agenda. This Agenda is crafted by the Alliance Steering Committee annually in partnership with early childhood organizations that are advancing policy solutions through the legislative process.

Continue reading for more information on this priority issue, including data and talking points, connections to the lead organizations and other partners, and advocacy tools.

Data and Talking Points

"A statewide paid family and medical leave insurance program will support the health, well-being, and economic security of Vermont's children and families and ensure that future generations thrive."

Supporting Health, Well-Being, and Economic Security

Nearly every working Vermonter at some point will need to take time away from their job to care for or bond with a new child or to deal with a serious personal or family illness. However, very few Vermonters have access to parental leave or personal medical leave through their employer. Federal and state laws allow certain eligible employees to take unpaid leave for these purposes, but many cannot afford to take leave when they need it.

A Statewide Paid Medical and Family Leave Insurance Program 

A bill creating a state-administered paid family and medical leave insurance program passed the legislature during the 2018 Legislative Session but ultimately was vetoed. House and Senate leadership have the opportunity to pass a bill again. H.107, an act relating to family and medical leave insurance, was introduced in the House on January 30, 2019, with testimony beginning the following day. The Alliance supports the VT Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FaMLI) Coalition in advocating for passage of a strong bill in 2019. 

Lead Organizations: Main Street Alliance of Vermont and Voices for Vermont's Children

Resources and Advocacy Tools 

Commentary by Robin Scheu: Paid Leave Programs can Work for all Vermonters

"On Feb. 5, 1993, the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) passed with bipartisan support, marking a significant step for millions across the country by guaranteeing access to job-protected unpaid time off to welcome a new child, care for a family member, or tend to one's own illness or injury," wrote Rep. Robin Scheu in a commentary appearing on February 4, 2019 in VTDigger.

"Despite this major step forward, the problem of accessibility to workers remains, because this leave remains unpaid. In fact, a recent FMLA survey showed that nearly half of workers who needed leave did not take it, mostly because they could not afford to take time without pay."

Schedule an Advocacy Training on Legislative Issues 

Schedule an Alliance training for parents and professionals interested in strengthening advocacy techniques and communication skills. Be informed and ensure your voice is heard on issues impacting Vermont's young children, families, and the early childhood workforce.

Early Childhood Day at the Legislature - 3/13/19

Registration has opened for this important annual day of advocacy and skill-building workshops. 

Early Childhood Day at the Legislature (ECDL) is an annual day of advocacy, education, and networking co-hosted by the Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance, Let's Grow Kids, and Building Bright Futures, that brings together early childhood professionals and providers, parents, employers, business owners, and policymakers to engage on early childhood issues.

The agenda for this 25th annual event includes issue and advocacy workshops, lunch with Legislators, state house tours, a rally, a birthday party celebrating 25 years of ECDL, and more. Stay tuned for a detailed agenda to be released in February.

Register online and download the registration flyer at the bottom of this page. 

The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance is a statewide advocacy coalition formed in 2000 of early childhood professionals and providers, parents, and employers committed to improving public policies that impact young children from birth to age eight on issues of health, safety, food security, economic security, and early care and education.

The Alliance crafts an annual Legislative Agenda in partnership with early childhood organizations, provides year-round advocacy support, and facilitates meaningful interactions with policymakers at key times during the decision making process.


2018 Legislative Agenda Wrap-Up

Meet the Members of the Alliance

Meet the Alliance Staff 


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The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance is a program of the Vermont Community Loan Fund.

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