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Sun May 6, 2018, 12:15 AM

The National Fight for Paid Leave Has Moved to Statehouses

Deb Fastino is confident: One way or another, paid family leave is coming to Massachusetts this year.

“We are hopeful that it will go through the legislature. But if we don’t get what we want, we will go through the ballot,” said Fastino, executive director of the Coalition for Social Justice and the co-chair of Raise Up Massachusetts, which has amassed over 100,000 signatures to get paid family leave on a statewide ballot this November. Paid family leave is so popular, said Fastino, that it will eventually win convincingly, particularly if presented to the fired-up group of voters likely to turn out this fall. If the legislature and business community want a say in what goes into the state’s paid leave law, then they have to act before July 3, when the coalition files their last round of signatures to the Massachusetts secretary of state’s office.

Over 75 percent of Americans support a form of paid family leave–it’s a bipartisan group that cuts across all income levels, and it includes the paid family leave that comes for caring for a parent, spouse or child, not just new babies. Despite some campaign rhetoric that Ivanka Trump would spearhead a federal paid family leave plan, the only proposed Republican plan so far, one from Marco Rubio, is unsustainable, limited to only parental leave, and would undermine Social Security.


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