Family Friendly Virginia is focused on the following issues:
Paid Family and Medical Leave
Nobody should have to choose between caring for themselves, a sick loved one or a new child and paying the bills. Unfortunately, in Virginia, it is estimated that 79 percent of working people – about 3,246,000 workers – have no guarantee that they won’t miss a critical paycheck when these things happen. We need to ensure that everyone in Virginia has access to paid family and medical leave so that they can be there when their families need them most.
Affordable Prescription Drugs
High prescription drug prices are forcing families in Virginia to make the impossible choice of paying for life-saving medications, or other essential expenses like rent and utilities. In 2016, 29 percent of Virginia residents stopped taking medication as prescribed due to cost. Prescription drugs should be affordable and accessible for hardworking families when they need them. We need broad reform that allows companies to invest in innovative new drugs without breaking the bank for working families.
Reliable, Affordable Elder Care
As the share of Virginia’s elderly population continues to grow, providing adequate elder care will become an even greater concern. Families in Virginia need confidence older Americans will be cared for with compassion. We need access to patient-centered care options that don’t bankrupt families or ask working people to make impossible choices between caring for their loved ones or themselves.
Quality, Affordable Child Care
Too many Virginia families are struggling to find reliable, affordable child care. The average annual cost of infant care in Virginia is $14,063, which puts a huge burden on working families. Hardworking families need access to affordable, high-quality child care. Decades of research show that child development during the first few years of life is critical to their long-term success and happiness.
Higher Minimum Wage
People in Virginia are working harder than ever. Although productivity has increased, for most families, wages are flat and have not kept up with rising costs. Hard, honest work should be rewarded, and working people have earned an increase in the minimum wage.