Attendees at this month’s Dad 2.0 Summit will experience an historic first: Two panels devoted to the same subject. That subject is the persistently thorny problem of paid leave, which is confronting two very distinct obstacles: Legislatures can’t agree on how to implement it, and men are still too wary of social stigma and professional punishment to take it. We’ve talked a lot about the latter, which will be the basis of our second panel on Saturday morning. But this week’s veto story from Montpelier sheds more light on how an idea that seems universally supportable can still be stalled in the statehouse.
It’s interesting to watch this drama unfold in Vermont, where a lot of factors seemed perfectly lined up to get a paid leave bill passed. Vermont has by far the lowest state GDP in the country and net-negative demographics, so the time feels right for the state to effect bold change in order to reverse some alarming trends. And although Republican governor Phil Scott won another term in November 2018, Vermonters also sent 102 Democrats and Progressives to its House of Representatives, a majority large enough to override any veto.
H.107, the Paid Family and Medical Leave bill, passed Vermont’s House with a vote of 89-58, and the Senate followed suit with a 20-9 affirmation. When Gov. Scott vetoed the bill, citing an aversion to the $29 million payroll tax that would pay for it, an override seemed inevitable. But when four Democrats broke ranks—because the bill didn’t go far enough, or they questioned how the program would be run—the override effort, which needed 100 votes to succeed, failed 99-51. By one. Lousy. Vote.
A good bill failed because it wasn’t perfect.
Supporters of paid leave have been quick to assert that getting this close to a statewide mandate is encouraging, and that it’s a matter of time before enough lawmakers find the compromise necessary to enact it. We’ll be curious to see how many families leave Vermont in the meantime because they can’t wait any longer.
Did you see? Yesterday, we announced our third round of Speakers at the 2020 Dad 2.0 Summit! Thanks to them, and to those we included in our first two announcements, we think we’ve built a great roster of marketers, writers, parents, and thought leaders to bring our 2020 discussion topics to life. Stay tuned for more information about programming, Sponsors, and our new Sched app that will keep you in the know all weekend long!
OUR HOTEL DEADLINE IS MONDAY
AND: The deadline to book your room at the Mandarin Oriental is fast approaching! If you’re a leave-stuff-to-the-last-minute type of person, the last minute is Monday, February 17. Click here and secure the $199/night rate before it shoots up to north of $345 on Tuesday!
IN THE NEWS
A UNICEF report in 2016 ranked Japan as No.1 of 41 countries for the length of paternity leave and its compensation system. However, few fathers actually utilize it.
“We have to get adamant about making sure our present fathers, especially those of color, have a voice. We don’t just need their heart-melting IG pictures. we need their authenticity and perspectives. Are we ready to provide the platform?“
Brad Pitt concluded his Oscar acceptance speech by raising the statue in the air and saying, “This is for my kids, who color everything I do. I adore you.”
The role of the Fatherhood Growth and Development Program is to guide fathers from all walks of life in the process of becoming a good influence, and show them how not to turn to the streets.
After Andrea Leigh‘s dad starting texting her images of his dogwalking at the local shelter, Twitter demanded he create his own feed. We’d be down for that.
“In a time when the rights and privileges of LGBTQ people are under attack from elected officials, NBA star Dwyane Wade has emerged as a beacon of hope for love and acceptance.”
Upstate dads trade their work boots in for ballet slippers. “If you’re a girl dad, it’ll change your life. As much as she loves it, as much as I love it, I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world.”
Initially, Stockbridge Elementary in Michigan thought it was a lofty goal for 20 men to volunteer as mentors; so far, the turnout has been more than double that.
Second grader Avey Cox didn’t think she could attend the daddy-daughter dance with her friends after her father passed away. Until someone stepped in.
“After a very inglorious 11 years, diabetes has seemed to have inflicted burn out on my older d-daughter. I don’t think I have helped either; I’ll own my failure.” — Tim Brand, Punch Drunk and Without Bail
“I hope they will remember the things they did together like raking leaves, sweeping the driveway, untangling Christmas lights, and using his walker as a roller coaster.” — Andrew Knott, Remembering Dad Who Taught Life Lessons Even in Quietest Moments
“My friend knew he was not the only person to suffer from impostor syndrome. He put his feelings out into the ether as a way to will his desire for peace into existence, but also to “give others permission to do the same.” — Aaron Yavelberg, The Importance of Being Vulnerable Online
“The biggest memory for me was having my kids see their dad walk across the stage. My kids don’t realize how hard the journey was… and IT was HARD!” — Brian Shay, Getting an MBA with Work, Kids, Wife, and a Life.
‘GRAM OF THE WEEK
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