Paid family leave plan falls apart at Colorado Capitol

Colorado State Capitol Building with Mountain View

DENVER — A plan to implement paid family leave has fallen apart at the State Capitol.

The measure, which was a top priority for Democrats this year, called for employees and employers to contribute to a state fund for paid family leave.

Workers could then receive a percentage of pay for up to 12 weeks in the event of a medical event involving themselves or a loved one.

The measure underwent a major re-write earlier this month after opposition was raised by the business community.

This week, Gov. Jared Polis reiterated that he had “concerns” with the bill, which sources say played a major role in pulling the original version from debate on the State Senate floor.

Sponsors of the legislation, Sens. Faith Winter and Angela Williams, sent a press release out late Wednesday saying the idea will be brought back next year.

Under a new version of the bill, introduced Wednesday night, the state will study the financial impacts of paid family leave throughout the rest of 2019.

Winter and Williams promised to return in 2020 to pass the bill — keeping the original timeline of 2024 for implementation.

“We have worked tirelessly to make sure this is the best possible policy for Colorado, and I am proud to not only have a great policy but a clear path to the implementation of it,” said Sen. Winter (D-Westminster).

“I know we are on the right path to finally secure a strong, robust paid family leave program for employers and employees that will not only allow Coloradans to balance work with their family responsibilities but create a national blueprint for others to follow,” she said.

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