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GOV. CASEY CALLS FOR SENATE TO PASS FAMILY/MEDICAL LEAVE LEGISLATION

 GOV. CASEY CALLS FOR SENATE TO PASS FAMILY/MEDICAL LEAVE LEGISLATION
 HARRISBURG, Pa., March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Calling it "an essential piece in solving the health care puzzle," Casey today urged the state Senate to pass legislation providing family and medical leave to Pennsylvania workers.
 The state House passed the legislation (H.B. 76) in January 1991. It would enable workers to take up to 12 weeks unpaid leave a year to care for young children or an ailing family member.
 The House bill, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Blaum (D-Luzerne), is pending in the Senate Labor and Industry Committee. A similar measure, sponsored by Sen. Allyson Schwartz (D-Philadelphia), has been before the committee since February 1991.
 "While Pennsylvania's Senate drags its heels, 20 other states already have put parental leave laws on the books," said Casey at a Capitol rally of labor, religious, senior citizen and civic leaders supporting the legislation.
 "Our families need this legislation now so parents can take care of their own newborn babies, newly adopted infants or seriously ill family members without the fear of losing their jobs. It's time for the Senate to do the right thing and pass a family leave law.
 "Parents and families in our state shouldn't have to wait one day longer."
 Casey called the legislation "the best health care cost containment measure we can take," pointing to a number of benefits for workers and businesses alike.
 The governor said it will reduce the need for counseling and treatment for stress-related illnesses for workers. In addition, it will reduce the need for costly forms of day care and institutional care that are often needed for older Pennsylvanians.
 "Families could get started on the right track, spending time together and becoming closer and stronger," Casey said. "Grown children could care for aging parents with life-threatening diseases, and older people could recover more quickly and thoroughly in a loving environment where care and concern are provided by a family member in familiar surroundings."
 Casey said the legislation also has benefits for business, noting that the Commonwealth -- the largest single employer in the state -- offers family and medical leave.
 Studies show substantial savings are realized through a reduction in the turnover rate, an increase in the number of qualified people applying for jobs, less family stress on the job and a more loyal, motivated and productive workforce, the governor said.
 /delval/
 -0- 3/17/92
 /CONTACT: Spike Lukens of the Commonwealth News Bureau, 717-783-1116/ CO: Pennsylvania Governor's Office ST: Pennsylvania IN: SU: LEG


MK -- PH017 -- 8752 03/17/92 11:27 EST
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Date:Mar 17, 1992
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