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Lawmakers look to increase Paid Family Leave

Posted: 5:36 PM, Mar 01, 2016
Updated: 2016-03-02 02:33:25Z

The California State Assembly is considering a bill this week that would increase the state’s Paid Family Leave plan.

“This new law is designed to help those living paycheck to paycheck,” said legal analyst Dan Eaton.

Paid Family Leave currently pays a resident 55 percent of their salary for up to six weeks. The proposed bill would raise that to 60 percent for everyone and 70 percent for the lowest wage earners.

San Diego County employee Tracey Carter said the increase is very important for people who struggle.

“We only get paid so much, and if you’re already working paycheck to paycheck it’s a little hard,” she said.

Paid Family Leave allows a Californian to stay at home with a newborn baby or sick relative and still earn money. That money comes from a 1 percent deduction on all employees in the state. The bill would increase that to 1.1 percent.

Richard Rider, chairman of the San Diego Tax Fighters said, “I'm opposed to mandating such a requirement. It seems that Sacramento sees businesses as ATM machines that can absorb any cost without adverse effects.”

Rider added, “We have the worst business climate in the nation, and these laws just lengthen our lead.”

Carter, who is also a County Chapter President for SEIU Local 221, said the increase would give the greatest assistance to those making minimum wage. She said many of those parents return to work because they can’t make ends meet on 55 percent of their minimum wage salaries.

“The bottom line is that these enactments are designed to have lower-income people take greater advantage of the program,” said Eaton.