Reactions: Newsom Vetoes Teacher Maternity Leave
While calling paid leave “a noble goal and a priority for my administration,” Gov. Gavin Newsom vetoed a bill that would have provided California educators with at least six weeks of paid maternity time.
AB 500 would have cost school districts tens of millions of dollars every year, the governor said, adding that teacher leave is an issue best left up to the annual budget process “and as part of local collective bargaining.” He said the Paid Family Leave Task Force would also be better positioned to tackle the matter.
“We aren’t done fighting for this. We have to address the inequity eventually,” said the bill’s author Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego). Claudia Briggs, spokeswoman for the California Teachers Association, also had terse words, EdSource reports.
"It’s unfortunate the governor chose to veto such an important bill that would have allowed educators and support professionals at least six weeks of paid leave to care for their newborn child and recover from childbirth or miscarriage. These are precious moments for a parent and yet most educators in California do not have the peace of mind knowing they will be paid during this time,” she said. “Equally concerning is the fact that the current practice discriminates against women as they are required to deplete their leave balances in order to bear children. We appreciate Assembly member Gonzalez for her leadership on this important bill and will continue to work with her and other lawmakers to end this unfair practice and right this wrong.”
A similar bill was vetoed by Newsom’s predecessor, Jerry Brown.