MAJORITY OF PA’S LOYAL GOP VOTERS SUPPORT PAID FAMILY LEAVE
New PA poll shows growing conservative support of pro-family program
(April 4, 2023) – A recent poll shows that the majority of loyal Pennsylvania GOP voters support paid family leave. Six out of ten Republican primary voters favor a paid leave program that would allow family members to support new parents or provide critical care to elderly loved ones at home without risking their jobs and hard-earned financial security.
Key GOP groups support paid family leave – 64% of voters without a college degree and 67% of female voters – with consistent support across urban and rural regions of the state, particularly in western PA (68%).
“There is strong support for paid leave among Republicans in Pennsylvania,” said Mark Harris of Osage Research in Pittsburgh at a virtual press conference today. “Voters see providing critical care to family members as common sense.” (Go to youtu.be/xPDMCwx5FL4 to watch the 25-minute press conference.)
Caitlyn Householder, a Republican voter in Lawrence County, wants her party to champion paid family leave. Caitlyn found herself disabled after being diagnosed with cancer while pregnant at age 26 and her husband’s job did not offer paid family leave, burdening them with enormous financial, physical, and emotional stress.
“We need protections for the working class to be able to take paid time off for family medical situations,” said Householder. “People do not choose to have critical life events happen or choose to become disabled, needing support. Paid family and medical leave will support individuals and families during these unimaginable times.”
GOP voters view paid family leave as pro-family by making it possible for families to stay afloat while they care for loved ones during challenging times. Paid family leave can offer new parents that important time to bond with their child and elderly parents can have the supportive care of their loved ones. In a medical crisis, paid family leave makes it possible for families to take care of one another without losing their jobs or leaving them in the care of strangers.
Paid family leave is a win-win for businesses and families. Studies show that paid family leave for parents of newborns makes them more likely to return to the same employer. In general, workers typically return to work with less stress and more loyalty, which leads to them being more productive. As Pennsylvania competes for workers in a global economy, offering a paid leave benefit can be a significant boon.
Paid family leave does not have to be a mandate on businesses and can be designed in a way that is not overly burdensome on employers. In fact, 13 states and the District of Columbia have enacted paid family leave in versions that work for them. Interestingly, conservative Texas is poised to become the 14th state to pass a version of paid family leave. In Pennsylvania this year, state Rep. K.C. Tomlinson (R) has introduced HB 710 and Rep. Dan Miller (D) introduced HB 1818.
Children First is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that improves the lives of children in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia counties by developing initiatives and advocating for quality health care, child care, public education, and family stability. Learn more at www.childrenfirstpa.org, and on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube at @childrenfirstpa.