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Yesterday afternoon, Colorado took a MAJOR STEP FORWARD on paid family and medical leave when Senate Bill 188 passed the State Legislature! This bill, now called the FAMLI Implementation Plan, creates a process for conducting necessary research and analyses and making recommendations about the best way for Colorado to implement a paid family and medical leave program in 2020.

This is a huge step in the right direction, but we can’t take anything for granted. We’ve got to show our legislators that while we’re excited about this big step forward, we’re counting on them to come back next year and finish the job.

→ Click here to send a quick letter to your legislators -- thanking them for passing the FAMLI Implementation Plan and asking them to commit to passing an accessible, affordable, and adequate paid family and medical leave insurance program NEXT YEAR!

Here’s what’s really exciting: This is the first time the Colorado State Legislature has passed a bill that moves paid family and medical leave forward in Colorado. 

But here’s what’s not so exciting: As you know, we’ve been supporting the CO FAMLI Act, SB188, for the past few months. This bill would have created a paid family and medical leave insurance program for the entire state, ensuring that all Coloradans have access to paid leave when they need to care for themselves, a seriously ill loved one, or to welcome a new child.

Last week, the CO FAMLI Act was amended because it didn’t have enough support to pass the Colorado State Senate. Rather than implementing a full paid leave program now, SB188 instead creates a path for implementation by immediately setting up a task force to review expert research and analyses and then conducting an independent actuarial analysis of a program recommended by the task force. All of the research collected this year will be presented to the legislature next year along with recommendations, and the CO FAMLI Act bill sponsors are committed to introducing 2020 legislation based on those recommendations. 

This is a meaningful step forward that puts our state on track to put a paid family and medical leave program in place starting in 2020. But we still need to urge our legislators to commit to passing a paid family and medical leave insurance program NEXT YEAR.

→ Send a letter to your legislators today -- thanking them for paving a path forward for paid leave and urging them to pass a full paid leave program in 2020!

While we are disappointed that agreement was not reached to adopt a paid family and medical leave program this year, the implementation plan is a significant victory for Colorado families. It brings us closer to the time when families will no longer be forced to risk their financial security when serious illness strikes, a family member needs care, or a baby arrives.

MomsRising Campaign Director Erin Bennett Leighton testifies along with Natalie and Terri 

During the legislative session, 3 MomsRising members shared their stories by testifying in committee hearings:

Terri from Longmont, who needed time off to care for her husband after he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma.

Natalie from Louisville, who was forced to use her limited amount of sick and vacation time, and then unpaid time, in order to have 12 weeks to bond with her new son -- meaning she went back to work with no paid sick days to use for doctor’s visits or inevitable infant illnesses.

Whitney from Centennial, who had severe postpartum depression after having her first child -- but had to navigate that extremely challenging time alone since her husband only had two weeks off to support her and the new baby.

Terri, Natalie, and Whitney were all incredibly brave in sharing their stories in front of legislators and committee rooms packed with lobbyists and community members. They, along with the thousands of MomsRising members like you who signed our petition and shared their stories, were instrumental in passing SB188 through the legislature this year! 

→ Help build on the great work we did this year by sending a letter to your legislators thanking them for passing SB188 and asking them to commit to passing a paid leave program in 2020!

With the passage of SB188, Colorado is finally on track to pass a paid family and medical leave policy that works for all Coloradans. We are confident that 2020 will bring a policy that is accessible, affordable, and adequate for all Colorado workers and that this implementation plan will keep us on-track for workers to begin receiving paid family and medical leave benefits in 2024.

Together, we’re a powerful force for women and families in CO!

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