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

Apr 6, 2016

Rep. Janine Boyd, a Cleveland Heights Democrat, introduces a bill to create a paid family and medical leave insurance program in Ohio. She's joined by Democratic co-sponsor Christie Bryant Kuhns (center) of Cincinnati.
Credit 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.