Rep. Lisa Blunt Rochester pushes for paid family leave expansion
Milton, DE- Congresswoman Blunt Rochester visited Lavender Fields in Milton Wednesday to push for payed family leave and child care.
She sees the Family and Medical Leave Act supported by President Biden as expanding the safety net PPP loans gave to businesses in need.
“During that period during the pandemic [people], really could see in real time us, democrats and republicans, coming together to help with their needs and they should expect that from their government,” she said.
Lavender Fields Owner Marie Mayor says the loans were the helping hand her business needed.
“Supporting local business at this time is just incredibly important, I appreciate people coming and enjoying the farm but also helping us support it,” she said.
She says she was able to keep all her staff on the payroll as well as hire a new employee for digital sales thanks to the loans.
“We are able to have even more sales go digitally which has been crucial for us,” she said.
Congresswoman Blunt Rochester believes the paid leave and increased child care could help bridge the gender divide in unemployment.
“Some are calling this pandemic a she-seccion because 4 million left the work place but only 2 million came back, people need quality childcare to be able to go to work , that will help again to get us back fully,” she said.
Delaware currently receives 108 million dollars from the government for childcare and an expansion could be costly.
Paid family leave already exists for federal workers, with the CBO putting its estimated cost at 774 million dollars for 2021; 8 billion dollars over a ten year period.
A program for all american would cost even more, but the Congresswoman believes that what the number doesn’t account for, is the cost to the economy of 2 million women being unable to come back to work.
“Sometimes people bring up what the cost is, but we have to ask our selves what the cost is of not doing it,” she said, adding that “Pay-fors” would be used when appropriating the money.