(April 11) – Rep. Faith Winter’s Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, which would ensure access to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave for Colorado workers, passed out of the House Business Committee this afternoon.
“For the cost of a cup of coffee a week, Coloradans would have access to paid leave when they need it,” said Rep. Winter, D-Westminster. “With the FAMLI Act, hard-working Coloradans wouldn’t have to worry about losing their job or wages when a major life event happens—whether that event is joyous, like the birth of a child; whether it is painful, such as caring for a dying parent; or whether it is courageous, such as fighting cancer.”
“This program reflects the needs of our small businesses and entrepreneurs—it’s innovative, it’s smart, and it helps us maintain our competitive edge,” Rep. Winter continued.
Over 30 people testified in support of the bill, including small business owners, new parents, faith leaders, health care providers and Coloradans who have personally experienced the need for paid leave.
HB17-1307 would guarantee all Colorado workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave for events including a serious health condition; caring for a newborn, an adopted child, or a child placed through foster care for the first year; and caring for a family member with a serious health condition. Each worker would contribute a small premium, expected to be 0.41 percent of annual taxable wages, to the insurance pool. During the leave, 66 percent to 95 percent of a worker’s wages would be provided through the program, with a cap of $1,000 a week.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 87 percent of workers have no access to paid family leave.
Three states have implemented paid family leave insurance programs and Colorado is one of 16 states working to pass such policies this year.
The 7-6 vote sends HB17-1307 to the House Finance Committee.