Kentucky Senate approves expanding access to paid family leave

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — A bipartisan bill aimed at expanding access to paid family leave won final passage Thursday as Kentucky’s legislature shifted into overdrive before a two-week break.The Senate voted 36-0 to send the family leave legislation to Gov. Andy Beshear.PICKUP DRIVER CHARGED IN CRASH THAT LEFT TRUCKER HANGING OFF LOUISVILLE BRIDGESupporters said House Bill 179 would amend state law to allow voluntary paid family medical leave to be offered as an insurance product. Such policies would be available to Kentucky employers, who would choose whether to offer it as a benefit to their employees.”This is a market-driven policy proposal that includes no mandates on employers, workers or families,” Republican Sen. Amanda Mays Bledsoe said while presenting the bill to her colleagues.Supporters say the goal is to expand the benefit to more Bluegrass State workers who now can’t afford to take time away from work in times of need at home, without forcing anything onto employers. They’re characterizing it as a good first step, while acknowledging it won’t be enough to help everyone.If employers chose to offer the benefit, it would provide temporary wage replacement for workers who need to be away from work to care for a sick relative, bond with a newborn child, care for a relative in the military or face a line-of-duty injury as a first responder. Still more reasons could be outlined in an employer’s benefit plan. Supporters see it as a way to help employers attract and retain workers.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThe bill’s leading sponsors are Republican state Reps. Samara Heavrin and Stephanie Dietz.The vote came as the state’s GOP-dominated legislature braced for a frenzied day of work on stacks of bills as lawmakers neared the start of their extended break, which will give the Democratic governor time to review bills and decide whether to sign or veto them. Lawmakers will return to the Capitol in mid-April for the final two days of this year’s 60-day session.
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