Today in Iowa, 2020 Presidential candidate and California Senator, Kamala Harris, unveiled her newest plan to give federal paid leave to working Americans. This includes up to six months of family leave and medical leave. The initiative is apart of what she has dubbed her “Children’s Agenda.”
“Every decision we make has a profound impact on our nation’s youngest, most vulnerable residents,” Harris says in the introduction of the proposal. “Whether it’s improving our education system, ensuring access to health care and mental health treatment, protecting the environment, overhauling our criminal justice system, reforming our immigration policies, or supporting working families, it all affects our children.”
Introduced in the plan is a special provision for low and middle-income workers who make less than $75,000 annually. Under Harris, they will receive full wages during their leave. This includes workers in all fields from entrepreneurs to part-time workers, to independent contractors.
Harris has also made the current stipulations more inclusive to include those who may be addressing concerns around domestic violence or sexual assault. The benefits, according to the junior Senator, will be paid for through a combination of payroll contributions and tax dollars coming from big corporations and high-income earners.
“Guaranteeing six months of paid leave will bring us closer to economic justice for workers and ensures newborn children or children who are sick can get the care they need from a parent without thrusting the family into upheaval,” Harris said in a press release announcing the plan.
Other noteworthy inclusions in her “Children’s Agenda” includes expanding access to affordable childcare, making a high-quality preschool education more attainable for families, investing in trauma-informed care in schools, and creating a Federal Bureau of Children and Family Justice.
“To give all children in America the opportunities they deserve, this comprehensive children’s agenda will protect their rights, ensure they have access to health care and high-quality education, and dramatically reduce child poverty,” Harris said prior to the announcement.