It’s still unclear if enough votes for paid family leave exist at State Capitol

DENVER -- It is one of the major pillars of the Democratic agenda in Colorado this session: pass paid family leave.

However, with just eight business days to go in the 2019 session, it is unclear if the votes are there to pass the program at the State Capitol.

Debate on the State Senate floor could happen Tuesday night.

Under the proposal, employees and employers would contribute to a state family leave fund. Workers could then tap into the fund if a loved one gets sick or a new baby is born. The bill allows for 12 weeks of paid time off.

This week, Gov. Jared Polis told the Capitol Press Corps: "We've certainly had concerns with some of the language in the bill."

Polis' words emphasize the concern that the program may not be financially sound.

"From our perspective, any program would need to be actuarially sound and be a win for the business community as well as families," Polis said.

The issue is that the bill assumes around 3 percent of Coloradans will use the program. However, in other states, like Rhode Island, the utilization rate is much higher. Rhode Island has about a 13 percent yearly use rate.

Supporters emphasize the math adds up, signaling to the press that amendments are prepared to be offered to clear up the language.

Still, with just a few days to go and with Republicans prepared to use delay tactics, it's unclear whether the measure will pass in time.

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