Gomez Statement on the Signing of SB 951, Which Expands Access to Paid Family Leave for Working Families
WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34) released the following statement after Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB 951, authored by California State Senator María Elena Durazo (D-Los Angeles), to ensure Californians can access state family and disability leave benefits:
“Governor’s Newsom’s signing of SB 951 into law represents a historic moment for California’s working families that serves as a model for expanding access to paid family leave nationwide,” said Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34). “One of my proudest accomplishments while serving in the California State Legislature was improving access to Paid Family Leave and State Disability Insurance for lower- and middle- income workers through my bill AB 908. I’m thrilled to see Governor Newsom build upon my efforts and sign SB 951 into law, which will boost paid leave benefits for working families. By expanding equitable access to paid leave, California will ensure that all workers – no matter their income level – can afford to take time to care for their loved ones. I will continue fighting in the U.S. Congress to make paid family and medical leave a reality across the nation."
SB 951 will ensure more equitable access to State Disability Insurance (SDI) and Paid Family Leave (PFL) programs for lower- and middle-income employees by covering more of their regular income when they take time off to care for their health or a loved one. Specifically, SB 951 will boost wage replacement rates to 90 percent for workers earning less than 70 percent of the state average weekly rate. This legislation builds on AB 908, authored by then California State Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez, which first allowed workers to take time off to care for a new child or ill family member without risking severe financial hardship by raising the wage replacement rate, removing waiting periods, and extending the length of time a worker can receive SDI and PFL benefits. Congressman Gomez and House Democrats fought for the inclusion of historic paid leave provisions in the Build Back Better Act, which would have set a 90% wage replacement rate for some of the lowest income earners.