Nobody should be forced to choose between taking care of their family and their economic security. I will continue to work to pass a publicly-financed paid family leave program, ensuring that family members can be together during times of illness or the arrival of a new child without financial stress forcing difficult choices. As we’ve seen during the COVID pandemic, the lack of such a program particularly impacts women, who are often more central in caring for their children and elderly relatives. Thus, establishing paid family leave would help enhance gender pay equity and the value of family care duties. Such a policy is a vital way that we can live up to Vermont’s ethos of community support and neighborly assistance, regardless of economic means.