Legislative Priorities

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Legislative Issue Areas 2016

Young Women Rising (YWRising) is a project of the Connecticut General Assembly’s Permanent Commission on the Status of Women (PCSW). The projects goal is to encourage leadership among young women ages 18-35 in the political process, workplace and community. The following legislative issue areas are a supplement to the PCSW’s Legislative Agenda and highlight the importance of these issues to young women in Connecticut.

Economic Security

Reducing Student Loan Debt- Support efforts to reduce student loan debt, which disproportionately impacts young women. Young women are more burdened than their male counterparts by student loan debt after graduation because the wage gap means they have less resources to pay off their loans, which impacts their economic stability for years to come.

Affordable Childcare- Support efforts to make childcare more affordable for Connecticut families. Childcare in the state now costs more than sending a child to an in-state 4-year university. The high cost of childcare makes it challenging for young women with families to stay in the workforce and makes it nearly impossible for those who do to get ahead financially.

Elimination of the Tip Credit- Support efforts to eliminate the tip credit, also referred to as the subminimum wage. Tipped workers are predominately women, and disproportionately young.

Paid Family & Medical Leave- Support efforts to create a system of paid family & medical leave in the state.  Young, professional women that want to begin or expand their families deserve the ability to take paid time off after the birth or adoption of a new child.

Health & Safety

Violence Against Young Women- Support efforts to create an affirmative consent standard, expand the Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANE) program state-wide, increase funding for domestic violence services and allow Women’s Centers at Connecticut institutions of higher education to be exempt from mandatory reporting regulations.

Healthcare Access- Support measures that increase young people’s access to comprehensive and affordable healthcare, especially for undocumented workers, and support efforts to fix the loophole that sends explanation of benefits letters to the policy holder instead of the patient (for adult children ages 18-26 that remain on their parents health insurance).

Reproductive Justice- Support efforts to ensure that all young women have access to comprehensive reproductive healthcare.

Nail Salons- Support measures to regulate nail salons for both employment practices and public health. The vast majority of nail salon workers are young women and many are being treated poorly, some are being trafficked and almost all have no knowledge of how the chemicals they work with can impact their health.

Environmental Health- Support efforts to identify and regulate chemicals used in consumer products, especially personal care products. Young women are disproportionately impacted by the current lack of regulation because women purchase and use more personal care products than men.

The Young Women Rising steering committee will keep members of our program up-to-date during Connecticut’s 2016 legislative session about bills relating to our priority issue areas via email. If you’d like to receive our monthly newsletter along with legislative updates, please submit your email here.

Young Women Rising provided me with a community of like-minded people who were committed to social justice and gender equity. The program gave me a voice and permission to truly begin my feminist awakening. Not only was YWRising instrumental in terms of my personal development, it also helped shape my career goals and aspirations.

Lauren D.

This program has impacted me positively because I’ve met a lot of positive women. It’s great to have a program where young women can network and share their experiences and continue to promote awareness of issues that impact women and make a difference.

Naomi