Dueling Bills Introduced on Paid Family Leave Law - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Dueling Bills Introduced on Paid Family Leave Law

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OLYMPIA, Wash. - Washington state lawmakers approved a program in 2007 giving parents five weeks paid time off to be with a new child.

However, the question on how to pay for the program was never answered. Now some lawmakers are wanting to remove it from the books completely. The senator who first introduced the bill is looking to expand the program whose start time has already been delayed until 2015.

The paid family leave law was supposed to start paying benefits of up to $250 a week starting in October 2009. But it has already been delayed twice.
    
Republican Sen. John Braun of Centralia says 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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