H.B. 351 – Parental Leave Amendments sponsored by Rep. Clare Collard (R-22), was introduced to the Executive Appropriations Committee on Thursday, February 11th. The appropriations request is for $512,300 in ongoing funding from the General Fund to go to the newly created Paid Post-Partum Recovery Leave Program beginning in 2022. The funding would provide state employees who give birth three weeks of paid post-partum leave.
The bill is a paired down version of S.B. 207 – Paid Leave Amendments sponsored by Sen. Todd Weiler (R-Woods Cross) and Rep. Val Peterson (R-59). 1st Sub. S.B. 207 passed in the 2020 General Session but was later defunded due to the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Rep. Collard thanked the sponsors of S.B. 207 for their work on the bill and credited a young constituent for getting her involved in running the bill again.
Sen. Mayne spoke in favor of Paid Leave Amendments, noting the bill’s potential positive impact on retention and recruiting skilled young people. “It’s a responsible thing to do and we passed this before, we saw the value in it.” UPEA always supports augmenting benefits for state employees and will lobby to pass the bill again this year.