Juan Espinoza with the Economic Progress Institute appeared on GoLocal LIVE at the Rhode Island State House, where the policy organization held an event on Thursday pushing for legislation to expand the state’s paid family leave program.
Under the proposal, the allowed leave time for those taking it under Temporary Caregiver Insurance (TIC) would be expanded from four to six weeks; it would also expand eligible caregivers to include siblings and grandchildren.
TCI is an expansion of the Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) fund, created in 1942 to provide wage replacement benefits to workers injured outside the workplace. To be eligible for TCI, claimants must have worked in RI and paid into TDI. TCI is funded through employee contributions to the fund.
According to the Economic Policy Institute, in the calendar year 2016, more than 5,800 workers used TCI to take time from work to bond with a new child (80% of claimants) or provide care for a seriously ill family member (20% of claimants).
Espinoza spoke to the supporters of the new legislation, including those elected officials and community organizations on hand at the State House on Tuesday.