WEST HAVERSTRAW, N.Y. -- Gov. Andrew Cuomo took his fight for paid family leave on the road Monday at a rally in West Haverstraw.
The governor, who first aired the initiative during his state of the state speech, said that his “Strong Families, Strong New York” campaign is backed by dozens of elected officials, labor leaders, and community-based groups throughout the Hudson Valley.
He spoke at the West Haverstraw Community Center in Rockland County.
The employee-funded proposal calls for 12 weeks of paid, protected leave for workers who have to stay home to care for a new child or seriously ill relative.
Cuomo said his proposed policy would benefit millions of New Yorkers -- especially women, minorities -- and would help the economy.
“Our paid family leave proposal is the strongest in the country because that’s what New York represents,” Cuomo said. “We believe in opportunity and mobility for all, and we stand up for working families. The sweetest success is shared success, and that’s why we’re fighting for a paid family leave policy that benefits all of New York’s families.”
Opponents of the plan, however, have said that it would raise the cost of business and cost jobs.
Under the proposal, private-sector workers would contribute 60 cents a week towards a family leave fund and public employees would be eligible if their local governments or agency approves, lohud.com reported.
The governor wants the proposal to be part of the state budget as of April 1. The state Legislature has until June to approve the initiative, the lohud report said.
U.S. Rep. Nita Lowey (D-Westchester/Rockland), a Democrat and the ranking member of the House Appropriations Committee, said Monday that she supports Cuomo’s proposal.
“If we truly value family, we should honor the bonds between mothers and fathers with their new babies, between children and sick parents, and other family ties by ensuring economic security for paid leave,” she said.
U.S. Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (D-18th District) said that he was lucky to be able to care for his children when they were babies and for his mother after his father died.
“None of my neighbors in the Hudson Valley should have to decide whether to put food on the table or care for a newborn child or elderly parents.” he said.
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