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Republicans’ dissent on family leave

Post by Kim Bradford on Feb. 17, 2008 at 9:14 pm |
February 17, 2008 9:14 pm

Today’s editorial raised a big concern about paid family leave – namely that Democrats have not figured out how to pay for the new benefit.


The program might face several other snags, even if it does get the money it needs. Republicans on a task force that spent the interim studying how to get the benefit out to new parents outlined their concerns in a minority report. They include:


  • One-time start-up costs of $10 million

  • Ongoing administrative costs of $8 million a year

  • No opportunity for employers who provide a more comprehensive paid leave benefit to opt out of the program

  • How the benefit will integrate with four other leave laws in Washington

  • The minority had this to say:


    With so many uncertainties still remaining, we must look at California, the only other state that has implemented such a benefit. Even though they already had the administration in place, Gov. Schwarzenegger has stated that the program is confusing and makes California appear unfriendly to business. He has vetoed expansion of the program at this time.


    While this benefit was developed by well-intentioned people, we see no way to make this program work in a fair and sustainable manner. The only logical and responsible choice is to delay the benefit until these issues are resolved. If they cannot be resolved, and so far that is the case, the program should be suspended.


    UPDATE: Former TNT columnist Dick Davis Dick’s colleague at the Association of Washington Business, Kris Tefft, has some thoughts here.

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