STATEMENT OF LT. GOVERNOR GRAY ON THE AMERICAN FAMILIES PLAN
Montpelier, Vt. —This evening, Lt. Governor Gray released the following statement on President Biden’s unveiling of the American Families Plan:
“This evening, I join in support of the American Families Plan and express my gratitude to President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris for putting working families at the forefront of their administration’s priorities.
We know that women and working families in Vermont have been hit hardest by this pandemic. Women nationally continue to take the lead in caring for loved ones and here in Vermont have stepped up to care for families and communities at great economic loss. Over 2.3 million American women left the workforce over the last year, including a disproportionate number of Vermont women, high above the national average. We know women, especially women of color, dominate caregiving industries that often lack paid family and medical leave and the option to work from home.
What is more, as a state with an aging population and persistent demographic crisis, even before this pandemic many Vermonters were caught in the middle--as the sandwich generation--caring both for children and for aging parents at the same time. On average, Vermont families spend $20,000 a year on child care.
The American Families Plan comes at a critical moment for Vermont and our country. The Plan offers support to low and middle income families and ensures that no more than seven percent of income goes to child care. The Plan proposes a competitive, comprehensive paid family and medical leave program. It also proposes funding for free universal pre-school, community college as well as workforce development programs to help parents remain in, or rejoin, the workforce.
The American Families Plan offers a historic opportunity to alleviate the burden faced by so many Vermonters, especially women, of having to choose between work and caregiving responsibilities.
I wholeheartedly support the American Families Plan and I look forward to working with our Congressional delegation as well as state and national leaders to grow support for its passage and full implementation.”