Posts tagged as paid sick days

In Legislature’s Waning Days, a Final Push for Pro-Kid Bills

Several important – and truly historic – victories for Oregon’s kids have occurred during the 2015 Oregon legislative session when it comes to children’s education, economic stability, health, and safety. Most notably, lawmakers have approved paid sick days, expanded opportunity and independence for foster youth, increased access to free school lunches, and prevented domestic abusers from possessing firearms.

But our work on behalf of Oregon’s kids is not done.

There are still key areas where lawmakers can make a big difference in children’s lives yet this session–specifically, in their budget negotiations. Last week was the first public hearing for the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) budget and this week lawmakers will discuss the early education budget.

Both budgets contain requests for additional funding for crucial children’s programs, yet there is immense budget pressure. Critical programs like Employment Related Day Care (ERDC), Home Visiting Programs, Temporary Aid for Needy Families (TANF), and mixed delivery pre-school all seek increased investment for the next two years.

As we’ve highlighted previously, programs like Employment Related Day Care (ERDC) and Home Visiting are designed to help low-income families access affordable child care and to receive the evidence-based parental training that we know protects kids.

These programs are proven to reduce demands on future state budgets and increase each child’s opportunity to become healthier and more economically secure.  And as the 2015 Oregon Legislature hurtles towards a close, the need to improve the future for Oregon’s children continues.

Please tell your lawmaker that their work is not yet done and that you support additional investments in affordable day care, home visiting, TANF, and mixed-delivery pre-school for Oregon’s most vulnerable children.

Paid Sick Leave in Oregon: No Rest for the Weary – Yet

Update: Paid sick days passed the Oregon House on June 12 and is headed to the Governor’s desk for final approval!

You glance at the thermometer and it confirms your suspicion: your child has a fever.

If you’re a worker in Oregon who lacks paid sick time, your choice boils down to a rock and a hard place: Do you send your sick child to school or daycare, or miss a day of work and lose out on a much-needed paycheck – or worse – risk being fired.

Today in Oregon, nearly half of all workers in the private sector don’t have access to paid sick time. It’s even worse for low-wage workers, where 71% lack access to sick time. This is an especially large issue in Oregon, where 26% of mothers with young children work in low-wage jobs — the second-highest rate in the nation.

Luckily, on Wednesday, June 10, the Oregon Senate approved a bill that would allow employees working at companies with 10 or more workers to earn up to 5 paid sick days per year. The leave can be used for themselves or to care for a family member – like a child – who needs medical care. Senate Bill 454 would make Oregon the fourth state to allow nearly all employees to earn paid sick time, but only if the Oregon House approves the measure – and time is running out.

If the Oregon House follows the Senate’s lead and passes the bill, the decision to stay home with your sick child should soon be a little easier. And that should give parents more time to focus on other important issues like: Does your child really have a fever? Or did they just hold the thermometer over a light bulb?