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Most Americans believe the time has come for paid leave, but there has yet to be a national plan that a majority can get behind. This week California Senator and presidential hopeful Kamala Harris announced her own plan, one that she hopes will resonate with voters.
Harris wants every working American to have access to six months of paid family and medical leave. It's part of a platform she calls "Kamala's Children's Agenda" and is based on the idea that "every decision we make has a profound impact on our nation's youngest, most vulnerable residents."
We know that both children and parents benefit from paid family leave. Paid leave is good for babies' cognitive development. And when mothers have access to leave they are more likely to breastfeed for longer. When fathers or partners take parental leave it is good for mama's mental health (which is good for children).
Harris is only one of several Democrats aiming for the oval office but her plan goes further than what her peers are proposing. Former presidential-hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand proposed the Family Act as part of her Family Bill of Rights, and while she's out of the running for the nomination her plan could make it, as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders both support it.
While the Family Act would give parents and others three months of paid family leave (about 66% of one's pay) Harris is suggesting that families with a yearly income under $75,000 would see 100% of their pay covered.
We don't know if Harris' plan will work or if her Children's Agenda will propel her to the White House, but we do know that America needs a paid leave plan and we're happy to hear politicians coming up with them.