AUSTIN (KXAN) — The United States is the only developed country without paid family leave of some kind, but that could change now that both major presidential candidates support it.
The only states or district that have any type of paid family leave are California, Washington, Rhode Island, New Jersey and the District of the Columbia. Texas does not. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton want to change that and mandate businesses offer it to new parents.
Trump’s plan calls for six weeks of maternity leave with whatever the state offers for unemployment. Here in Texas that’s a maximum of $500 a week.
Clinton’s plan calls for maternity or paternity leave, calling for two-thirds of their salary for 12 weeks.
More than twenty thousand day cares watch over more than a million Texas children. Veronica Batchelder knows childcare can be expensive and has been through it twice.
“When we got a second child that’s when it exceeded our mortgage,” she said.
She works at a local hospital and making sure someone is watching over the kids is a constant juggle.
“I did have to switch jobs because it was becoming a struggle to find child care,” said Batchelder.
Both major party candidates want the Federal Government to help with that burden.
Trump’s idea is a tax credit that parents can use up to four times. An average family would save $1,200 per child. He says the total cost would be around $2.5 billion he would find in other departments, but child care advocates say anything to do with tax credits will not help poor people who pay little in taxes already.
Clinton’s plan would ensure nobody pays more than 10 percent of their salary on child care. The Federal Government would pick up the rest of costs through the states with “block grants” of funding. The campaign hasn’t said how much they think it would cost.
Save the Children Action Network says on the low end that would cost $20 billion. Clinton says she’ll pay for it by raising taxes on the wealthy, a difficult thing to push through Congress in the past.
You can watch the candidates debate Monday, September 26, in New York City live on KXAN.