National paid sick leave needed due to coronavirus
Trey Hollingsworth, Todd Young, and Mike Braun should fully support and immediately work to pass national paid sick leave legislation, such as H.R. 6150 / S. 3415.
The entire U.S. is in the midst of an official Public Health Emergency as declared by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar in January 2020 due to the novel coronavirus, aka COVID-19.
According to an official health update issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on March 8, 2020, people who are mildly ill with COVID-19 should stay home to prevent the spread of this highly contagious illness to others.
But for many Americans without paid sick leave, staying home is not financially sustainable. H.R. 6150 / S. 3415 would provide Americans with an immediate 14 days of paid sick leave during this public health emergency enabling them to protect themselves, their families, and community members.
School safety referendum adds to tax burden
I quote from an article in the January 29, 2020, edition of The News and Tribune that states that over the next 10 years Floyd County can expect to add about 1,500 more students to our schools, particularly with the dramatic growth already approved in the Georgetown Elementary and Highland Hills Middle School areas. I’ve also heard it said that both these schools are already at capacity. I see this same growth happening with the U.S. 150 corridor out to Greenville, particularly with Greenville requesting approval to extend sewer lines east to Billy Joe’s.
If you are a taxpayer living in Floyd County, as I am, this should raise a host of red flags. Will we soon be asked for more taxes to either expand these two schools or to build new ones? The answer is “most likely” or more accurately, “of course.”
Which brings me to the current School Safety Referendum request of $25 million over the next eight years. First, I think our schools have to be made as safe as possible. Both Superintendent Snyder and Associate Superintendent Jensen say they are safe now. The $25 million referendum, if passed, would fund mental health professionals, building safety and School Resource Officers (SROs). Personally, I would prefer more be spent on SRO’s than is being planned.
While I agree there are children who would benefit from mental health assessment and counseling, I also agree with a friend who has allowed me to quote her thoughts as follows:
“No matter how much money we pour into the school system….we cannot “bandage” a child’s mental health that is perhaps a symptom of his/her environment or the apathy of a disconnect with parents. Not to say all issues children have are because of the way they are raised. There are exceptions. But, so many times parents ignore warning signs and just say ‘oh, he is in a mood.’ They make excuses…..until it is too late. So, I don’t think this referendum will do anything, because if a child doesn’t believe he HAS a problem and his/her parents aren’t considering his/her issues as an emergent problem….well then, the resources the school system is proposing will be of no significance.”
I say “no” to this School Safety Referendum because most of it is focused in the wrong direction and also in view of what will most certainly be asked of us taxpayers in the not-too-distant future.