During the Senate Revenue and Taxation Committee on Thursday, February 25th, Senator Todd Weiler introduced S.B. 210, Paid Leave Modifications, which seeks to grant 120 hours (3 weeks) of paid parental leave to state employees following the birth or adoption of a child. In addition, the bill also grants 3 weeks of post-partum recovery leave for birth mothers.
UPEA has supported similar bills in previous sessions requiring the creation and implementation of a paid parental leave benefit. This legislation is an enhanced version of S.B. 207, which passed during the 2020 session and was later defunded due to the pandemic-related budget cuts, which granted 3 weeks of post-partum leave to birth mothers but did not include any additional parental leave for fathers or adoptive parents.
The committee was overwhelmingly supportive and passed S.B. 210 through to be heard on the Senate floor. Senators Curtis Bramble and Lux Escamilla both spoke in favor of S.B. 210 and Lieutenant Governor Diedre Henderson was present to support the implementation of paid parental leave. UPEA employee representative, Kendle Zdunich, testified in support of the bill, stating that this benefit would both increase work-life balance and enhance the total compensation package for state employees – which could greatly alleviate current recruitment and retention challenges within state employment.