Offered Amendment is not a Paid Family Leave Proposal

At-Large D.C. Councilmember Elissa Silverman released the statement below in response to an amendment proposed today by Ward 8 Councilmember LaRuby May and Mayor Muriel Bowser. The amendment comes one day before a historic vote to pass a comprehensive paid leave program in the District.

“I look forward to passing a true paid family and medical leave program for the District tomorrow. The amendment proposed by Ward 8 Councilmember LaRuby May, which I understand was drafted over the last couple of days with the support of Mayor Bowser, IS NOT a paid family and medical leave program and is not a viable alternative.

Councilmember May’s proposal is nothing like the successful programs in California, Rhode Island, and New Jersey, and does not resemble New York State’s program that passed this year. The amendment would get rid of the family leave insurance system and replace it with a few additional sick days to some employees, along with a tax credit for childcare expenses. It is a reimbursable credit, which would be most useful to residents who can afford to spend $3,000 on childcare and wait a year to get the money back during tax time. Further, it provides no public benefits to people who must take time off to care for either a sick child or another relative.

I agree with Councilmember May in that we need to address the shortage of high-quality, affordable childcare in our city. This is going to be one of my top agenda items next year, and I look forward to working with Mayor Bowser and my colleagues on this important issue.”