Saturday, August 11, 2012

AB 2039 – Link to Testimony

Today on the internet radio program, “Your Caregiving Journey, Table Talk,” I talked with Denise Brown about testifying in front of the California Senate Appropriations Committee, my new shoes and getting through the fear to actually testify (notice I didn't say "overcome"). 

There was a request in the chat room of the program to see the link to the testimony and for the text of what I said so would like to share both.  Keep in mind, the committee wanted everyone to keep their testimony brief and to focus on the impact to business.  (You know how difficult it is for me to write something short!).   Here is the link to the session (AB 2039 is introduced around the 1:51 mark) and below is the text of what I said when I testified.  In the video, you'll see me still editing what I was going to say while the person next to me spoke in favor of the bill!

I think with each speaking experience, it will get easier and I'll do a little better each time.  I’m pretty sure I will still be terrified but at least now I know I can do it. 

And, yes, I do plan to buy a new pair of shoes for each experience! 

Here's the text of my testimony:

"Thank you, Madame Chair and Members of the Committee.  My name is Trish Hughes Kreis and I support of AB 2039.

I care for my disabled brother, Robert who is disabled due to lifelong intractable epilepsy and I also manage a local law firm.

Unfortunately, many family caregivers have to choose between their job and caring for their family member because they don’t have protected leave due to the limited definition of family.

As an employer, I’ve managed  leaves of absences and know that unpaid, protected leave has not placed an undue burden or cost to our business.

As an employer, I also see how we benefit from providing flexibility to our employees.  The loyalty an employee shows when we work with them during difficult family situations is invaluable.  This flexible approach has actually saved us money by reducing turnover costs.

I want to do what I can to ensure working caregivers are able to take protected leave to care for their family member who might not fit in the confines of the currently limited definition of family under CFRA but I also want to do what’s best for our business.

It is my belief AB 2039 would not be an undue burden on the employer and would greatly help family caregivers stay in the workforce which can only strengthen our struggling California economy.

Thanks very much to Assembly Member Swanson for this bill and thanks very much for your time."

I'd love to know what you would testify about if asked and what you would say. Please share your cause in the comment section.

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