Unfunded WA paid family leave law under fire

Unfunded WA paid family leave law under fire

Unfunded WA paid family leave law under fire

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by Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on January 24, 2013 at 1:01 PM

Updated Thursday, Jan 24 at 1:40 PM

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) -- Six years ago, Washington state lawmakers approved a program giving parents five weeks paid time off to be with a new child.

But the question of how to pay for the program was never answered, and now some lawmakers are looking to remove it from the books completely, while the senator who first introduced the bill is looking to expand the program whose start has already been delayed until 2015.

The paid family leave law passed in 2007 and was supposed to start paying benefits of up to $250 a week starting in October 2009.  But it's already been delayed twice.

Republican Sen. John Braun of Centralia said that the state needs to focus on what it can pay for. But Sen. Karen Keiser, a Democrat from Kent who sponsored the initial bill, has introduced her own bill to expand the underlying measure.

Her bill adds caring for a family member or a worker's own disability and would pay 2/3 of a worker's pay a week, up to $1,000 a week.

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