|GOP Voters in PA Support Paid Family Leave
If nothing else, the COVID pandemic taught us two very valuable lessons: there are few things more important than the health of your loved ones, and you can do all the right things and things can still go wrong.
“People do not choose to have critical life events happen or choose to become disabled, needing support,” says Caitlyn Householder, a Republican voter in Lawrence County. “Paid family and medical leave supports families during unimaginable times.”
Caitlyn is not alone. A new poll commissioned by the Children First Action Fund finds that six out of ten Republican primary voters favor a paid leave program so families can take care of the health of loved ones, including their babies, without risking their jobs and hard-earned financial security.
Loyal GOP voters, including 64% of voters without a college degree and 67% of women, want the government to give parents the choice they need to tend to the medical needs of their family. And, while support is consistently strong across the state, nearly seven out of ten of the party faithful want to be sure family members can take care of one another.
Children First Action Fund’s poll was conducted by a polling firm that advises many of the state’s top Republican elected officials. Most importantly they advise candidates on what positions to take to build their electability. “There is strong support for paid leave among Republicans in Pennsylvania,” said Mark Harris of Osage Research in Pittsburgh at a virtual press conference this week. “Voters see providing critical care for loved ones as common sense.”
Already 13 states and the District of Columbia have enacted paid family leave programs. Interestingly, conservative Texas is poised to become the 14th state to pass a version of paid family leave.
Pennsylvania may soon be getting on board with bipartisan measures being introduced in the House already by Rep. K.C. Tomlinson (R-Bucks County) and Rep. Dan Miller (D-Allegheny County). Bipartisan proposals are expected to surface in the Senate any day now.
And it can’t come soon enough for Caitlyn, who, at 26 years-old, became disabled after being diagnosed with cancer while pregnant. 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,” she said.
This new poll shows that GOP voters view paid family leave as pro-family because it gives new parents the choice to be able to take time to bond with a new baby, or make sure that elderly parents 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.
Nearly every faith will be spending time this weekend reflecting on the value of life and families. While so much divides families and our nation right now, it’s good to know that a pro-family policy like paid family leave unites us.