Testimony IN FAVOR of SB 275

Labor and Employment – Family and Medical Leave Insurance Program Establishment (Time To Care Act 2022)

Senate Finance Committee

February 10, 2022

1:00 PM

Presented to: Delores G. Kelley, Chairman

BY: Candra Healy, St. Ignatius Catholic Community, Justice & Peace Committee Chair

            My name is Candra Healy, and I am Chair of the Justice and Peace Committee of St. Ignatius Catholic Community of Baltimore

            Our Catholic Community is the parish of 900+ families located in the Mount Vernon section of downtown Baltimore. Our location is a cultural center of Baltimore, near Center Stage, Peabody, the Walters and the BSO. We are literally between East and West Baltimore, in the midst of the African American community; and the home to a growing number of young adults, many of whom are married with young children. People of all ages, cultures, and in different seasons of life have found a spiritual home here. The Justice & Peace (J&P) Committee of Saint Ignatius Catholic Communityis dedicated to the service of faith and the promotion of justice. As a parish we are called and challenged to articulate, advocate, and act upon critical social, economic, cultural, and political issues that affect us, our city, and our world. We are also called to be a resource to provide parishioners with opportunities to live out their faith through justice. The Committee aims to address the challenges that affect the work of justice in

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our community. The values of our Church teachings direct our efforts to work for peace and justice.        We are called by our faith and our tradition to stand with workers.

            We are called by Catholic Social Teaching to support working families, especially in their time of greatest need and greatest vulnerability, including the time to nurture a newborn or newly adopted child or for the care of a dying loved one.

            In their 1986 Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the US Economy, The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops said, “Our faith calls us to measure this economy not only by what it produces, but also by how it touches human life and whether it protects or undermines the dignity of the human person.”

            We support this legislation because it reflects the values we share in our community. Those values of human life and the dignity of each human person.

The last two years have demonstrated the tremendous pressure being placed on families due to the pandemic. Many thousands of our sisters and brothers have died. Many more have been hospitalized or have lingering aftereffects of the virus.

This legislation can lessen the pain and ease the fear that families face when a wage earner suffers longer term illness that makes it impossible to work.

This legislation would make it easier for parents to spend time nurturing new additions to their families without suffering catastrophic economic loss.

We believe this legislation strikes a fair balance between the needs of workers and the capacity of employers and their need to remain solvent

Many employers provide this or similar benefits. However, it is not widespread due to cost. One way to make this affordable for employers and workers is to adopt the system outlined in this legislation so the risk of prolonged illness – that could strike any of us – is spread to all workers and employers. This will make it affordable for everyone.

We ask for a FAVORABLE Report of SB 275. Thank you.