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Friday, April 13, 2007

Watered-Down Family Leave Bill Emerges in House

posted by on April 13 at 17:27 PM

Members of the state House were expected to vote today on a scaled-back version of the family leave bill, which would only give time off to bond with a new child (the earlier version would have allowed family leave to care for sick relatives, too) and which doesn’t include a specific funding source. The earlier bill would have funded the program with a two-cents-an-hour payroll tax. The new version would have the legislature convene a 12-member task force that would come back the following year with a funding proposal and a detailed outline of how the program would work.

Oh, and the amount of family leave (currently $250 a week) won’t be indexed to inflation—that measure got stripped out too.

Does it surprise you to learn that Gov. Christine “Process” Gregoire and House Speaker Frank “Consensus” Chopp both supported watering down the family-leave bill? It shouldn’t, because both Chopp and Gregoire wanted to send the bill to the voters, where it would face a certain multi-million-dollar campaign by businesses to kill it, followed by a likely death. What leadership.

RSS icon Comments

1

I believe this is called "punting". What a disgrace.

Posted by Shannon | April 13, 2007 7:17 PM
2

I find it absurd that people don't understand if a family leave bill is tipped too far in the amount of leave with pay, business would have a hard time succeeding. It's a balancing act. So stop bashing businesses and listen to what they have to say. Folks bitch and complain about big corporations taking over our culture - well it's because only they can afford these heavy handed rules. If our rules were more business friendly you'd see more small independent business succeeding.

Posted by raindrop | April 14, 2007 9:34 AM
3

"The earlier bill would have funded the program with a two-cents-an-hour payroll tax".

"Senate leaders want to impose a small payroll tax slightly less than 1 cent per hour on all workers."

Raindrop - I'm confused, explain to me how this proposal burdens small business?

Posted by Shannon | April 14, 2007 10:07 AM
4

Because even though the tax subsides the leave, the employer is still without that worker and may have to hire an additional worker or load balance with other workers. That's a burden on business. I'm not against family the leave bill, I just want both sides to be considered.

Posted by raindrop | April 14, 2007 11:33 AM
5

Raindrop,
Boo-effing-hoo. This bill - sadly I will take this watered-down version over nothing - is a pittance of a burden to business, government and the people.

As for your "oh, poor business man who has to hire someone" - what do you propose? People not having children? Leave their sick ailing parents just to die on their own? (That's what sets my hair on fire - correct me if I'm wrong but the revised bill now only includes care of newborn children only. To hell with anyone who has to suddenly have to take care of a sick parent.)

As one who is about to have a baby and will need to recover from a C-section, this is a very real issue to me. My employer supports me/will retain my job but I will only have about 3 weeks' worth of sick/vacation to cover my 8 weeks off (I do not qualify for the 12 week unpaid FMLA.) I have NO IDEA how I am going to pay my bills/rent. Oh well... Times like this I wish I lived in Canada, where they pay for maternity leave at 80 percent of a woman's wages FOR ONE YEAR.

Raindrop, did I forget to say GET BENT?

Posted by Madashell | April 14, 2007 2:46 PM
6

Raindrop,
Boo-effing-hoo. This bill - sadly I will take this watered-down version over nothing - is a pittance of a burden to business, government and the people.

As for your "oh, poor business man who has to hire someone" - what do you propose? People not having children? Leave their sick ailing parents just to die on their own? (That's what sets my hair on fire - correct me if I'm wrong but the revised bill now only includes care of newborn children only. To hell with anyone who has to suddenly have to take care of a sick parent.)

As one who is about to have a baby and will need to recover from a C-section, this is a very real issue to me. My employer supports me/will retain my job but I will only have about 3 weeks' worth of sick/vacation to cover my 8 weeks off (I do not qualify for the 12 week unpaid FMLA.) I have NO IDEA how I am going to pay my bills/rent. Oh well... Times like this I wish I lived in Canada, where they pay for maternity leave at 80 percent of a woman's wages FOR ONE YEAR.

Raindrop, did I forget to say GET BENT?

Posted by Madashell | April 14, 2007 2:46 PM
7

so who the hell is going to challenge Chrissy Gregoire in the primary? She's turning out to be as effective as Gary Locke was. At this rate she'll be handing the election to Dino.

Posted by rh | April 14, 2007 3:44 PM
8

Madashell, like I said - it's a balance. Businesses and employees have to make tough choices in a capitalistic society. It's damn tough to meet payroll sometimes, and it's even tougher to have to let someone go. Don't bark at me. Dwell on the whole issue, not just from your view.

Posted by raindrop | April 14, 2007 8:39 PM

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