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Lawmakers Debate Expansion of Paid Parental Leave for State Employees

nytimes.com

The Georgia House of Representatives Public Health Committee met yesterday to debate a measure to expand paid parental leave.

Lawmakers discussed House Bill 1010, which would extend paid parental leave for state employees from three to six weeks. Speaker Pro Tem Jan Jones, a Republican from District 47, presented the bill, which was met with opposition from Representative Jodi Lott, a Republican representing District 131. Lott advocated instead for the expansion of short-term disability insurance.

“Short-term disability is what I did when I had my children. It’s an option, it’s available, and it’s personal responsibility, which is something that I value,” she explained.

According to Jones, only eleven school districts allow employees to take short-term disability leave. Athens representative Spencer Frye, a Democrat, was in full support of the bill.

“I think this sends a great signal that Georgia does care about our children, we care about our families, and at the appropriate time,” he stated.

It was also noted during the meeting that Representative Houston Gaines, Republican of Athens, introduced the current law that offers three weeks of paid parental leave to new parents. Gaines also supported the expansion.

House Bill 1010 passed the committee with one no vote.

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