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Ohio Dems says 12 Weeks of Paid Family Leave Would Show a True Pro-Life Commitment

Janine Boyd and Christie Bryand Kuhns
JO INGLES
/
OPR

A new bill in the Ohio legislature would give employees of businesses in the state a full 12 weeks of paid family leave each year.

Some Democratic state lawmakers are backing the plan that would require most employees to pay about $25 to $30 a year into a state insurance program much like the one operated by the Bureau of Unemployment Services.

Then, when they need maternity or paternity leave or time off to care for close family members, they could tap into the program to be paid while they’re not working.

Democratic State Rep. Janine Boyd says that would mean healthier babies.

“Research shows paid leave is associated with higher immunization rates and healthier babies so this is the most pro life you can get when you are preventing infant mortality.”

Don Boyd with the Ohio Chamber of Commerce says his organization will be looking at the bill to see how it affects the cost of doing business and existing federal leave requirements.

“What may be good for some businesses may not be good for all businesses and anytime we mandate something across the board it at least raises some concerns.”

He says it’s important to remember a one size fits all approach often doesn’t work when it comes to Ohio’s businesses. 

Jo Ingles is a professional journalist who covers politics and Ohio government for the Ohio Public Radio and Television for the Ohio Public Radio and Television Statehouse News Bureau. She reports on issues of importance to Ohioans including education, legislation, politics, and life and death issues such as capital punishment. Jo started her career in Louisville, Kentucky in the mid 80’s when she helped produce a televised presidential debate for ABC News, worked for a creative services company and served as a general assignment report for a commercial radio station. In 1989, she returned back to her native Ohio to work at the WOSU Stations in Columbus where she began a long resume in public radio.