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May 31, 2023

The California Coalition on Family Caregiving reviewed proposed state policies at the beginning of the year and voted on two priority policies to champion this legislative cycle: AB 518 and SB 616. The selection was based which policies would have “the highest impact on family caregivers’ well-being.”

  • AB 518 (Wicks)- Paid Family Leave for a Designated Person AB 518 expands who caregivers can take paid family leave to care for to include extended and chosen family. Right now, qualifying family members only include a child, parent, parent-in-law, grandparent, grandchild, sibling, spouse, or registered domestic partner, but this is not representative of all California families. The California Coalition on Family Caregiving supports AB 518 so that paid family leave is accessible for all caregiving relationships.
  • SB 616 (Gonzalez)- Sick Days: paid accrual and use SB 616 would increase the minimum number of paid sick and safe days that California workers can use for their own, or a designated person’s, illness from 3 days to 7 days. These days would allow a caregiver to stay home with an ill care recipient without having to make the impossible choice between providing care and getting paid. Paid sick days also offer flexibility in case of an emergency, such as if a care recipient wanders or a paid caregiver doesn’t show up.

Additionally, the coalition voted to support 12 pieces of legislation that “impact family caregivers and/or care recipients.” The coalition has expressed this support by submitting letters and stating support in person or over the phone at legislative committee hearings.

The California Coalition on Family Caregiving supports policies that improve family caregivers’ wellbeing. These include policies that help caregivers remain in the workforce (like AB 518 and SB 616), make long term services and supports more affordable and accessible, give family caregivers a break, and recognize and train family caregivers for the major role they play in the healthcare system. You can express your support by calling your elected official.

Note: Held in suspense means that the bill will not move forward because it was not voted out of the appropriations committee where the bill cost is considered.