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March 8, 2022

Delaware Cares Coalition: Today’s Vote a “Resounding Recognition” that Paid Leave is the “Bridge to a More Prosperous Future”

Wilmington, DE – In a 14-7 vote, the Delaware State Senate passed the highly anticipated Healthy Delaware Families Act to create a paid family and medical leave program in the First State. Sponsored by Senator Sarah McBride, Senate Bill 1 would make Delaware the 10th state to pass a paid family and medical leave program. The Healthy Delaware Families Act now heads to the State House for consideration, where Representative Debra Heffernan is the bill’s prime sponsor.

Advocates celebrated today’s historic vote, which took place on International Women’s Day and amid the two-year anniversary of the pandemic’s emergence in the United States.

“Today’s vote is a resounding recognition of what we as Delawareans already believe: that no one in our state of neighbors should lose their livelihood because they needed time to care for themselves or their loved one,” said Liz Richards, Director of the Delaware Cares Coalition for Paid Leave. “Our coalition of over 50 Delaware organizations thanks to the members of the Senate who stood up today for Delaware families, whose lives will be changed for the better by this bill. Paid leave is the bridge to a more prosperous future and a stronger economy for all Delawareans, and the time has finally come. We now call on the Delaware House to pass the Healthy Delaware Families Act without delay.”

The Senate vote comes less than a week after polling 85% of Delawareans support passing a paid leave program, across political party, region and demographic. It also comes on the heels of Christiana Care and Nemours, two of the state’s largest employers, endorsing Senate Bill 1.