A Step Forward for Paid Family and Medical Leave in Colorado
“MomsRising commends the Colorado state Senate for passing SB19-188 today. This is the first time the state Senate has passed a bill moving paid family and medical leave forward in Colorado. We are encouraged that Senators Faith Winter and Angela Williams, the bill sponsors, were able to forge a path forward with an implementation bill that creates a timeline and process for passing the kind of comprehensive paid family and medical leave program Coloradans urgently need. This is a meaningful step that puts our state on track to put a paid family and medical leave program in place very soon.
“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.
“Putting a paid family and medical leave program in place is tremendously important to MomsRising members across the state and to all Colorado families. The bill the state Senate passed today includes the critical analyses and processes the original SB19-188 proposed: creating an implementation task force, collecting research from paid leave experts around the country, and conducting an independent actuarial analysis. We are confident that the research and analyses will disprove the ‘sky is falling’ claims from corporate lobbyists and demonstrate what has been proven in several other states: Paid family and medical leave benefits families, businesses and the state’s economy.
“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.”
Three Colorado MomsRising Members Who Need Paid Family and Medical Leave
Jonna in Denver: I went into labor with my son when I was at work, almost two months before his due date. My son was born at 33 weeks, by emergency C-section, and spent a month in the NICU. I used all of my vacation and sick time to be with him daily in the NICU. When my vacation and sick time was up I used unpaid disability to continue to stay home with my baby who was on a heart and breathing monitor. When that ended, I quit my job so that I could see my child through the difficult first year of his life. My family was lucky enough to have great health insurance during this time, but we were crippled by having to live on one income. Paid family leave for both me and my husband would have made a huge difference for my family. My son is now a happy healthy two-year-old, and I have returned to work, but we continue to struggle to regain financial stability after the huge hit that we took from not having paid leave.
Terri in Longmont: I had to have a great deal of time off to care for my husband after his diagnosis with Multiple Myeloma. I didn't get any pay during my time off because I didn’t meet the full-time employee hours necessary. Luckily, we were covered in part by his disability insurance through his work. However, finances were very tight as we also were raising two active elementary and middle schoolers. The help that family leave pay could have given us would have made a huge difference to our security and stress levels!
Whitney in Centennial: I had severe postpartum depression with my first child. My husband had one week of paid parental leave, and one week of vacation. Being left at home alone with a 2-week-old contributed significantly to my depression, and if he had been able to stay at home with me, I know my journey would have been drastically better.