I know many dedicated legal advocates, counselors, families and teachers have been fighting for these kids behind the scenes for years. It's time to bring their needs, stories and challenges forward, and work together to give these kids the opportunities they deserve. That's why I will charge the Director of Drug Prevention Policy; the Opiate Coordination Council; the Agency of Education; and the Agency of Human Services with finding solutions for these kids. We cannot let this go unaddressed on our watch. We must not, and we will not, fail these children.
[In the school budget], I'm proposing we increase investment in early care and pre-K by $9.6 million.
My administration will commit wholeheartedly to paid family leave. Today, many mothers are forced to return to work soon after their child is born because they cannot support their family on the unpaid leave guaranteed by the national Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). But it doesn't have to be this way--[in states with] a state-run paid leave insurance policy, workers are able to take six weeks off to care for not only a newborn, but also a newly adopted child or an ill family member. Vermont needs to create a program that will bring not only economic security but will also ensure that women who chose to raise their kids full-time in the weeks after they give birth are not at a disadvantage in the workforce.
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