NY Assembly Passes Funding For Childcare and Revised Family Leave Act
The state Assembly on Wednesday passed a package of bills that if approved by the Senate and signed by the Governor would increase access to childcare and establish paid family leave.
Some of the measures include increased funding for childcare by nearly $400 million over the next four years and a one-time investment of $11 million for childcare subsidies. Another bill would require employers to provide a paid family leave insurance policy for employees, which would be partially funded through an initial weekly employee contribution of up to 45 cents.
Currently, the federal Family Medical Leave Act entitles employees to 12 work weeks of leave for a birth of a child, adoption of a child, or if a close family member is afflicted with a serious illness, but does not guarantee paid leave. Supporters of the bill say most employees cannot afford to take that unpaid leave from work.
The issue is getting some traction in the Senate, as well, though some of the bills are opposed by business groups.
The Senate Independent Democratic Conference’s family leave plan would guarantee six weeks of paid leave whenever a new child enters a home or a close family member is afflicted with a serious illness, but does not go as far as the Assembly’s plan.