The Georgia Family Care Act Is Now Permanent

Last week, SB61 was signed into law by Governor Kemp, making the Georgia Family Care Act permanent law starting on July 1, 2023. 

The Family Care Act (FCA) allows workers who already earn paid sick days to use up to 5 of those days per year to care for another family member. The FCA was first passed in 2017 but was passed with a “sunset” provision, meaning that the law was temporary and had to be renewed every three years. With the passage of SB 61, the law is now permanent and workers will be able to rely on this important measure to care for their families.

9to5GA and the GA Coalition for Paid Leave led the advocacy and support for SB61, including working with bipartisan lawmakers and sponsors, and bill sponsors Senator Brian Strickland and Representative Lauren Daniel who contributed the following statements:

“I was proud to see the sunset on this important piece of legislation finally come to an end,” bill sponsor Sen. Brian Strickland said. 

“When I ran for office, I committed myself to fighting for Georgia’s families. I was very excited to be a part of ending the sunset clause of the Family Care Act this year,” Rep. Lauren Daniel said who carried the bill in the House. “The positive impact of this legislation and how it benefits families all over the state is something we can all be excited about.”

We are celebrating this win alongside our GA Coalition for Paid Leave members. The Coalition’s Steering Committee members also offered the following statements on the passage of SB61:

“Care in Action GA is thrilled about the passage of SB 61. This legislation will enable Georgia employees to care for their loved ones without the penalty of missing a paycheck. CiA GA remains committed to ensuring that one day, this benefit will be extended to all of Georgia’s residents.” Jasmine Bowles, State Director, Care in Action Georgia.  

“On behalf of the YWCA of Greater Atlanta, I want to express our joy and gratitude for the passing of SB61. The Family Care Act has made Georgia a better state for women and girls by allowing working people to use their paid sick time to care for loved ones. By removing the sunset, the law has only been made stronger. Thank you to Chairman Strickland for sponsoring this bill and the many advocates for working tirelessly to see it through.” Elaine Hudson, Director of Advocacy, YWCA of Greater Atlanta. 

“Georgians shouldn’t have to choose between their family’s health and well-being and their financial stability,” said Mindy Binderman, Executive Director of GEEARS: Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students. “More than 4 in 5 Georgia voters support paid sick or family medical leave.”

“A Better Balance was proud to support the passage of the Georgia Family Care Act back in 2017. For the past 6 years, this law has provided important protections for working Georgians with caregiving responsibilities, and we are thrilled that it will now be made permanent. This victory reflects growing momentum behind increasing access to paid leave across the South in order to support the health and economic security of working families.” Feroza Freeland, Policy Manager of the Southern Office of A Better Balance. 

“Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia is thrilled to see SB61 pass. This is an incredible step towards protecting mothers in our workforce, and the families they are raising. We thank the Georgia Assembly and Senator Strickland for putting Georgia families first in this decision. We are hopeful that more policies that protect moms in our state will be implemented in Georgia.” Madison Scott, Director of Policy and Research, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies 

“Making the Family Care Act a permanent law is a strong step toward ensuring those in the small business ecosystem can access paid leave,” said Rachel Shanklin, Georgia director of Small Business Majority. “Georgia legislators should now build upon this progress by passing a state-run paid family and medical leave insurance program and making it easier and more cost-effective for small businesses to access paid leave.”

Making the Family Care Act a permanent law means workers can care for their families and loved ones without risking their economic stability. We look forward to continuing to work with lawmakers to support the real-life needs of Georgia’s families, including comprehensive paid family and medical leave. Join us in this fight by joining the campaign.

Georgia Coalition for Paid Leave organizational members: 9to5 Georgia, YWCA of Greater Atlanta, Amplify Georgia, Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, Family Values at Work, Poder Latinx, A Better Balance, GEEARS, Feminist Women’s Health Center, Small Business Majority, On the Rise, Inc., Georgia Association of Educators, Georgia Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Atlanta North Georgia Labor Council, Georgia Budget and Policy Institute, NationalDomestic Workers Alliance- Georgia Chapter, Care in Action, URGE-Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, American Medical Women’s Association GA Branch, Caring Across Generations, Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy-Georgia, March of Dimes, American Heart Association

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