Reduced Paid Parental Leave Benefit Passes First Committee Hearing

1st Sub. S.B. 207Paid Leave Amendments sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler, R- Woods Cross, was heard on Thursday, March 5. The original bill included 3 weeks of paid leave for both mothers and fathers for the birth or adoption of a child and an additional 3 weeks of paid medical leave for birth mothers. However, due to the high fiscal note of $2.4 million in on-going funds, the bill was substituted for a lower benefit option of 3 weeks (120 hours) of paid postpartum leave for birth mothers. Click here to see the detailed fact sheet.

1st Sub. S.B. 207 proposes an alternative benefit option from past bills in attempt to identify the specific impacts and benefits to the state. If passed, this bill serves as a starting point for paid parental leave in the state. UPEA Representative, Kendle Zdunich, testified in favor of the bill stating, “Providing paid maternity leave would further the concept of work/life balance as well as enhance the total compensation package for state employees during a critical time. Employee recruitment, retention, and turnover have been stated as agency obstacles this year more than ever before. S.B. 207 provides an opportunity to attract quality employees, especially those in the reduced Tier II retirement plan, for long-term employment with the state.

We recognize the budget constraints the legislature is faced with this year; however, we’ve received very enthusiastic feedback from our membership about this potential benefit and we ask that the committee to pass out S.B. 207 with a favorable recommendation.”