[caption id="attachment_218642" align="aligncenter" width="1024"] State Sen. Sarah McBride will be a legislator to watch next year as she works to advance SB1. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
WILMINGTON – State Sen. Sarah McBride is no stranger to the spotlight, with her coming out story as a transgender woman drawing national attention, then helming the Human Rights Campaign’s national press office and becoming an LGBT advocate for legislative change in her home state of Delaware and in Washington. In 2020, she became the highest ranking transgender elected official in America.Despite that national attention, McBride spent much of her first elected year learning the statehouse ropes in an uneven pandemic-affected session.Next year, however, the spotlight on the Wilmington Democrat will intensify as she ratchets up a campaign for her Senate Bill 1, which aims to create a social insurance program to support paid family and medical leave for up to 12 weeks a year.The Delaware State Chamber of Commerce voiced concerns last session regarding the coverage, eligibility factors and implementation of the law. It recommended raising the threshold for businesses eligible to opt out up to 35 employees, better defining and limiting who would be eligible for the benefits, and potentially phasing in the 12-week benefit over several years.Many legislators are already pointing to the bill as one they’d like to see advanced this year, which could pit business organizations against a new wave of progressive legislators led by McBride unless a compromise can be reached.