(April 16) – A bill to create a Colorado insurance pool to provide paid medical leave to workers after childbirth, or to deal with their own serious illnesses of those of close family members, passed the House today.

The family medical leave insurance program, sponsored by Reps. Faith Winter, D-Westminster, and Matt Gray, D-Broomfield, would provide up to 12 weeks of replacement wages, which would be capped at $1,000 per week.

“This bill creates an insurance pool to provide coverage for all Coloradans to care for a sick parent or a newborn, or to get chemotherapy or treatment of other serious medical conditions,” Rep. Winter said. “For thousands of Coloradans, if their only leave option is unpaid, they may be forced to sacrifice caring for themselves or a family member.”

“This bill will increase job security for workers and improve workforce morale,” Rep. Gray said. “Plus it will reduce workforce turnover without costing employers a dime. It’s an answer to some of the most serious issues affecting Colorado families today.”

The vote on HB18-1001 was 35-29, with every Republican voting to force thousands of Coloradans to choose between their jobs and caring for themselves and their loved ones. Surveys show family leave is favored by strong majorities of Republicans as well as Democrats. President Donald Trump endorsed family leave in his State of the Union speech.

The bill goes to the state Senate.

 

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