Pandemic Stresses Need for Family Care Act

When I first introduced the Family Care Act early in the 2019-20 Legislative Session, the primary intent of the bill was to provide a basic ‘safety net’ that would provide some financial stability for families during their time of need.

Little did we know back in the Summer of 2019, when I introduced the bill, just how important and how essential that safety net would be.

The COVID-19 pandemic forever changed our lives and presented so many new challenges that we could never have foreseen nor planned for.

Many of us knew the need for the protections provided by the Family Care Act, but the events of March 2020 and the months that followed deeply unscored how vitally essential these basic provisions would be for families attempting to balance work and health needs during a global pandemic.

Now, with those lessons still fresh, we must establish a statewide program to provide financial support to allow workers to take time off from their jobs to care for a new child or for themselves or a close family member in the event of a serious health condition.

In those situations, especially when it involves a serious health issue, families have enough to be concerned about without having to worry about how they are going to pay their bills.

This is especially important for workers with disabilities and those who are caring for a family member with a disability. For them, unpaid time off can be financially devastating.

Protecting all citizens who experience an illness and affording peace of mind against the economic disaster of lost wages is a shared goal, something that became even more apparent as the uncertain course and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic continued to unfold.

Employees who feel sick should not be compelled to work and put others at risk and many small businesses simply can’t afford to pay workers who must deal with virus-related issues involving their families.

As the American workforce continues to change in the 21st Century global marketplace, one that has been forever altered by a global pandemic, our state policies should also evolve to serve a growing and diverse population. In addition, employers should not have to choose between the health of their business and loyalty to their employees.

We need the Family Care Act in Pennsylvania more than ever.

In closing, I encourage local residents to visit my website,, and my Facebook page,, to keep up to date with state government news – including the state budget — and learn more about state services and agencies.

Contact:         Matt Azeles       


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