New Poll Shows Strong Support for Family Leave Insurance: State Task Force Encouraged By Results
SEATTLE, WA – Members of task force charged with helping implement Washington’s family leave law were buoyed by results from a nationwide poll of frequent voters that show strong support for a family leave insurance fund to provide income for parents on leave while caring for a newborn or newly-adopted child.
A new national poll conducted by Lake Research Partners found that three-quarters of respondents favored creating a family leave insurance fund through a small deduction from workers’ paychecks or a combination of worker and employer payments. A similar poll of Washington voters released in March 2007 pegged support for such a measure at 73%.
Strong support for family leave insurance was evident in virtually every demographic group and geographic region, even crossing party lines. Nationally, Democrats registered 81%, Independents 73%, and Republicans 69% in support; in Washington, 86% of Democrats, 67% of Independents, and 60% of Republicans were in favor.
The national poll results were released the same day the Washington State Family Leave Insurance Joint Legislative Task Force meets to review options for administering Washington’s new family leave insurance law, scheduled to take effect in October 2009. The bi-partisan task force, made up of legislators and citizens, is co-chaired by Senator Karen Keiser (D-Seattle) and Representative MaryLou Dickerson (D-Kent), co-sponsors of the legislation that enacted Washington’s new family leave law.
“There are real consequences for our workers, families and businesses when family values end at the workplace door. I’m proud that Washington is taking the lead in helping workers take time to care for their families,” said Keiser.
Added Dickerson, “Small business owners know that supporting families is critical to their company’s success – but they often lack the resources to provide pay during extended leaves. Washington’s paid family leave program will help by providing some income to workers who take leave as new parents.”