I thought we heard a great speech tonight, and here's what I heard from President Obama right out of the box:
Today, we’re the only advanced country on Earth that doesn’t guarantee paid sick leave or paid maternity leave to our workers. Forty-three million workers have no paid sick leave. Forty-three million. Think about that. And that forces too many parents to make the gut-wrenching choice between a paycheck and a sick kid at home. So I’ll be taking new action to help states adopt paid leave laws of their own. And since paid sick leave won where it was on the ballot last November, let’s put it to a vote right here in Washington. Send me a bill that gives every worker in America the opportunity to earn seven days of paid sick leave. It’s the right thing to do.
We could have had paid sick leave last year. It was a bill in the Legislature but late in the session it didn't pass.
The concept did come before the Democratic Party's platform convention last year, though, and we did adopt it as part of our platform:
Is committed to ensuring that workplace standards in Vermont promote public health and safety and are responsive to the needs of Vermont's workforce and families. To this end, we support establishing a minimum standard of earned paid leave for all Vermont workers.
It's another year and another legislative session. Democrats still have strong majorities in both the House and the Senate. It's time to show what we work for when we elect those majorities. It's time for Vermont to follow President Obama's lead and pass earned sick leave.