Paid sick days advocates from across the country got a boost from U.S. Senator Patty Murray today. Murray is the lead Senate sponsor of the Healthy Families Act, and she championed the recent budget amendment that garnered bipartisan support for paid sick days. Today, she joined a national coalition call to talk about the importance of the issue and to preview next steps.
On the call, Senator Murray affirmed her commitment to advancing the Healthy Families Act this year. “I’m using every avenue available to me to continue to build support,” she said, announcing new efforts to include paid sick days in the budget and committing to putting pressure on her colleagues. “But over the coming weeks and months, I’m going to need all of your help,” she said to advocates on the call. “I need you to continue your grassroots efforts to expand access to paid sick days.”
Murray was joined by leaders of the national Work and Family Coalition and Candice Hemphill, a worker from Washington. Hemphill works for a major retailer that does not provide paid sick days. As a kidney and pancreas transplant recipient, her weakened immune system means that, when her co-workers can’t stay home when they are sick or have a sick child, the consequences can be life threatening for her.
Also featured on the call were email@example.com from the National Partnership for Women & Families, Ellen Bravo from Family Values @ Work, and Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner from MomsRising. Each leader reinforced the importance of paid sick days, the great work state and local coalitions are doing to spur the national movement, and growing public demand.
Just after the call, more than 180 members of the coalition, representing a broad range of groups in the majority of states, sent a letter to Senator Murray’s colleagues in Congress urging them to prioritize passage of the Healthy Families Act. “The Healthy Families Act would strengthen workers and families, businesses and the economy,” the letter reads. “We urge you to demonstrate your strong commitment to our nation’s working families by becoming a co-sponsor.”
As Senator Murray ended today, “This is not going to happen overnight but… with your help, we’re going to continue to build support in Congress and, together, we are going to get this done for millions of Americans across the country.” With our coalition’s commitment, Senator Murray’s tenacity, the tireless efforts of the lead sponsor of the Healthy Families Act in the U.S. House of Representatives, Rosa DeLauro, and continued progress at the state and local levels, we will get there.
Check out the senator’s remarks and the call in its entirety here.