COLORADO VOTERS COULD BE FIRST TO PASS PAID FAMILY LEAVE BY BALLOT MEASURE

COLORADO VOTERS COULD BE FIRST TO PASS PAID FAMILY LEAVE BY BALLOT MEASURE

With the decision directly in voters’ hands, corporate lobbying interests were sidelined.

FOR SIX YEARS, the Colorado legislature has tried — and failed — to pass paid family leave. On November 3, Colorado residents themselves will get the opportunity to vote directly for the creation of a leave program, thanks to the ballot measure Proposition 118.

If it passes, the ballot measure will create a social insurance program that will provide all state residents 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new baby, recover from a serious illness or injury, care for a family member with a serious health condition, deal with domestic violence, or report for military service. There would be an additional four weeks for pregnancy or childbirth complications.

The program, which would be the ninth state paid family leave law enacted in the country, wouldn’t be implemented until 2023, when the state will begin collecting premiums, and benefits won’t be paid out until 2024. About 2.6 million workers in the state would become eligible for benefits.

“This would be one of the largest social insurance programs that has been implemented in Colorado,” said Ashley Panelli, a paid leave organizer with 9to5 Colorado.