Lawmakers join forces to give family paid leave bill new promise
JEFFERSON CITY - Two Missouri lawmakers introduced new legislation that would give working families paid leave Thursday.
Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, and Rep. Tracy McCreery, D-St.Louis, joined forces to give their Missouri Earned Family and Medical Leave Program bill a chance at passing this year.
The bill would require a small portion of employees' salaries go toward the program's fund. Then if a person needed the time off for a medical emergency or to raise a newborn, they would be compensated for up to 6 weeks.
The two lawmakers said they worked hard to create a bill that was tailored closer to Missouri's needs than previous paid leave legislation.
Last year McCreery's paid leave bill died before recieving a hearing.
Sen. Jill Schupp said the new bill is part of an effort to take the burden of paying off businesses.
"We don't leave the employers in the lurch. The employers then if they need to replace somebody for that period of time that they take off, they have that salary available that they are not paying to their employee that they can use to bring somebody else in," Schupp said. "We see it as a win-win for everyone."
Employers would not be required to pay into the fund, but if they choose to, it waives the fee from their employees' pockets.
Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice Missouri, Alison Dreith, said employers could gain an economic advantage by helping fund the program.
"It attracts the best and the brightest. We have to face it that Missouri is an aging state and a lot of our young people leave the region to go get jobs elsewhere. So if we want to keep on attracting that new innovative entrepreneur spirit, that if we want to attract young people to come here and live and work in Missouri, then we need things like Earned Family Paid Leave," Dreith said.