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Eye On Olympia

Posts tagged: parents

Are you willing to pay $40 a year for a family medical leave stipend you might someday need? House and Senate lawmakers hope so…

More from the print paper:

In 2007, jubilant Democratic lawmakers approved $250-a-week stipends to workers who take unpaid time off to bond with a new baby.

Two years, later without paying anyone a dime, paid family medical leave has stalled. Gov. Chris Gregoire halted computer work on it to save money. And no one agrees how to pay for the estimated $40 million annual payout.

But they may be getting closer. Lawmakers in the House and Senate are now calling for a 2-cents-an-hour fee on all workers, with the money used to pay the stipend. And the benefit wouldn’t just apply to parents. Anyone with a sick family member could use it.

For a full-time worker, the fee works out to about $40 a year.

“If you’re going to ask everyone to pay, then everyone has to benefit,” said state Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, who introduced one of the bills Wednesday. “It’s just fairness.”

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Richard Roesler covers Washington state news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Olympia.

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