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Policy Update: March 6, 2015

iStock_000011940368SmallA quick look back at events this week impacting women and families, from Valerie Young, a public policy analyst with Mom-mentum.

It’s snowing — again — the federal government has closed for the day, schools are closed — again — but the fast-paced world of women’s rights keeps on chugging along.  Informed mothers will want to know —

Earned sick days are now the law in Bloomfield, New Jersey, the 9th city in that state to protect family economic security when illness strikes.  Pressure builds to pass a state-wide bill, and place it on Governor Christie’s desk.

Chicago’s City Council may soon pass it’s own paid sick days bill, as a majority of aldermen are on the record as in favor.

Philadelphia’s City Council passed a paid sick days bill – for the 3rd time!! This time, Mayor Nutter (I could not make this stuff up!) signed it into law, only to have state legislators introduce a bill that would prohibit PA cities from enacting their own sick days laws, citing business interests.

Kentucky’s Pregnant Workers Fairness Act moved closer to enactment, being unanimously approved by a House committee.  The push was initiated by a pregnant police officer denied light duty because only employees “injured on the job” were so entitled.  If passed, all Kentucky pregnant workers can count on “reasonable accommodations” such as carrying a water bottle, access to a stool or chair for sitting breaks, or permission for more frequent bathroom visits.  A similar bill in Congress continues to languish for lack of attention…

Maryland’s “Senator Barb” Mikulski will leave the Senate in 2017.  After 10 years in the US House and 28  years in the Senate (talk about staying power), the longest-serving woman in the US Congress will retire.  Also called the Dean of the Senate Women’s Caucus, she convened female legislators of both parties at  monthly dinners, and promoted a spirit of bipartisanship and collaboration when it was seriously out of style, while instilling respect in her colleagues and adversaries alike.  Not your typical shrinking violet….

Before I put on my snow gear and grab a shovel, I leave you with this video from the Emily’s List Gala held this week in DC.  If you want a preview of what the 2016 presidential election may look and sound like, you may want to watch.

Follow Valerie on Facebook (Your (Wo)Man in Washington) and Twitter (@WomanInDC) and find her on the blog at Mom-mentum.



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