May 5, 2020
May 5, 2020
Legislators supporting a mandatory paid family leave proposal have said they’re dropping the proposal amid the coronavirus fallout, and bringing it to the November ballot instead.
From the Denver Post:
Sponsors are abandoning efforts to create a paid family and medical leave program in Colorado through legislation, announcing Friday they will instead support a ballot initiative already in the works.
The proposed family leave bill faced rough waters from the beginning, but the coronavirus pandemic proved to be an insurmountable obstacle, the Democratic would-be sponsors said. State Sens. Faith Winter and Dominick Moreno and Reps. Matt Gray and Yadira Caraveo announced the decision Friday morning.
So they are turning their attention to an effort announced earlier this year to create a statewide family and medical leave insurance program through the ballot box. The measure, led by a group called Colorado Families First, proposes a state-run program that would provide partial wage replacement for up to 12 weeks a year for eligible employees. It also offers employment protections so those employees could take the leave. Premiums for the program would be split between employers and employees.
The Colorado Chamber of Commerce said in a statement that this is not the time to create a large-scale state program.
“The uncertainty of the situation globally and nationally has forced many businesses to close temporarily, layoff and furlough valued employees, and seek out financial assistance to stay afloat,” Loren Furman, senior vice president of state and federal relations, said in the release. “Benefits like paid leave are meaningless if Coloradans don’t have stable employment.”