MEDIA RELEASE: NC General Assembly appoints Joint Select Committee on Work & Family Balance

NC General Assembly appoints Joint Select Committee on Work & Family Balance

Advocates for kids, older adults, women, and workers applaud legislative leadership


RALEIGH (Nov. 16, 2009) — In a move that advocates called “a significant step forward for working families,” the North Carolina General Assembly has appointed a new Joint Select Committee on Work & Family Balance.


Dozens of organizations from around the state -- including health care organizations, women's groups, and advocates for children, families, and older Americans — applauded the task force’s creation, which was announced late Friday afternoon.


“Workers are struggling to balance the competing needs of work and family,” said Louisa Warren, Policy Advocate with the North Carolina Justice Center.  “We’re extremely pleased to see the NC General Assembly recognize that it’s time that we take a deep look at how North Carolina can help workers better cope with family caregiving needs and hold on to their jobs at the same time.”


The Join Select Committee on Work & Family Balance includes fourteen members of the NC General Assembly, seven from the Senate and seven from the House.  Senator Dan Blue (D-Wake) and Representative Alma Adams (D-Guilford) will co-chair the Joint Select Committee until February 2011, when it will make its final report.


“The formation of this Joint Select Committee on Work & Family Balance sends a strong signal that state legislators get it that workers and older adults can’t adequately meet their caregiving responsibilities,” added Bill Wilson of AARP North Carolina.  “We anticipate working with the members of this important committee to find ways to move North Carolina forward.”


Part of the commission’s value, said backers, will be its ability to analyze particular policy steps that could benefit working families in North Carolina.


“Policies like guaranteed paid sick days for all North Carolina workers would benefit everyone – employees, employers, taxpayers, and especially mothers,” said Beth Messersmith of Moms Rising, a grassroots advocacy organization centered around family issues. “We’re excited that this group has been tasked with studying policies like this, to see how we can best implement solutions that work for North Carolina’s families.”


FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT: Louisa Warren, 919.801.0465