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Paid Family Leave Gains Momentum In States As Bipartisan Support Grows

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Support for NPR and the following message come from Amelia Island, Florida a barrier island on the northeast coast that captivates visitors with thirteen miles of uncrowded beach championship golf, natural beauty and a historic district Amelia Island dot com slash NPR paid family leave once seemed politically unthinkable, but that seems to be changing now Democrats are pushing for federally mandated time off for taking care of family members, and many Republicans are also embracing this including President Trump who last year proposed six weeks of paid family leave. So that every new parent has the chance to bond with their newborn child. Some two dozen states are expected to consider proposals that offer paid leave for workers this year as NPR's Yuki Noguchi reports undercurrent New Hampshire law. There's no requirement that employers offer paid leave to any employee. Having a baby caring for an elderly. Parent or dealing with an illness or addiction when he chased campaign last fall for a seat in the state house promising to change that and one this is my first term, and I'm not a politician on just a mom on a mission that mission started when her daughter Erin Papas was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer at age two for over three decades chase accompanied Papas to an endless series of surgeries chemotherapy sessions and Dr an emergency room visits. But chase like a large majority of Americans didn't have paid family leave through an employer without the ability to balance work with the demands of her daughter's care her career suffered. It was exhausting to say the least that's where I ended up not being able to have a fulltime job anymore. Instead chase worked part time as a waitress or doing medical billing eventually she took over her parents marketing business, so she could set her own schedule election day last November proved bittersweet. Chase won the day. After her daughter died compass had mailed in her absentee ballot. Just knowing that she was behind me voting for her mom, it just gave me that power to get out there in many ways chases personal story reflects the broader trend in the debate over paid family leave she's a democrat who unseated Republican incumbent, but as a small business owner, she says she's also concerned about cost including finding temporary replacements for workers on leave without a government program. She says that would be difficult. It would be expensive. It would be poll show large majority support for paid family leave across the political spectrum driven by several factors elder care is of growing concern as the population ages women who make up the majority of caregivers are more, politically active and younger workers are demanding better work life balance from their employers, even historically conservative states like Indiana. Oklahoma and Nebraska are expected to consider proposals this year. Similar bills are making inroads in swing states. Take New Hampshire Wendy chases state last week. It's democratic legislature passed a measure headed for the state's Republican governor, Dan Feltus is New Hampshire's Senate majority leader, he says Democrats took control of both houses last year campaigning on the issue, forcing Republicans to adapt. Everybody is getting on board regardless of geography, regardless of political background. Well, not exactly everybody New Hampshire. Governor Chris sununu says he remains opposed to the Bill because it would create a new tax for employers and workers and would be mandatory he along with fellow Republican Vermont governor Phil Scott proposes a six week leave benefit for state employees other workers could sign up for the benefit through their employers. If they offer it sununu is position echoes that of business groups that don't like the added cost and regulation of another government. Mandate. Philadelphia attorney Lori Armstrong Halbur represents businesses. She says not every company opposes this. It can be an attractive perk. Some employers use to recruit and hang onto qualified workers. It is a benefit that will attract the best and the brightest. And frankly, it is something that they expected demand and part of this is a societal change a gridlock. US congress is unlikely to pass its own proposals. So harbor says states are forging ahead. I think we're going to continue to see states address areas like this where the federal government hasn't been able to make any movement six states and the district of Columbia have passed paid family leave laws to date, you Gucci NPR news, Washington. Support for this podcast and the following message. Come from Comcast business having the nation's largest gig speed network was just the start. Now, they're providing gig fueled apps and solutions that exceed expectations and help businesses perform Comcast business beyond fast.

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