Trumps Proposal for Paid Family Leaves is an Opportunity for Bipartisan Agreement
On Friday, The Associated Press reported that President Trump’s budget proposal will include provisions on paid family leave. The plan would require states to provide paid family leave programs to their citizens. Most expect the plan to win support from Democrats, who have long advocated for these types of programs. Although we are still a long way from fruitful bipartisan budget talks, we are encouraged to see that the president will include a proposal that is high on many Democratic wish lists.
Since Trump will not formally release his budget until Tuesday, we know only the broad strokes of his proposal for paid family leave. We do know his proposal differs from past Democratic proposals, whose plans have called for the federal government to offer a paid leave program to workers.
Although Democrats may press for a federally funded plan, many states already run successful paid family leave programs. For example, many point to California’s plan that allows workers to take up to six weeks of partial paid leave to care for a new born or seriously ill family member. And generally, workers who apply to receive paid leave receive 55% of their weekly paycheck.
Most evidence indicates that California’s plan has been a success. Studies show that new parents who use the family leave program make more money over the long term compared with parents who don’t. Moreover, businesses initially feared that the program would negatively affect employee turnover and worker productivity. Those fears have yet to materialize. In fact, some research even shows that workers who take paid family have lower turnover rates and show higher levels of productivity.
If President Trump or Democrats need other bipartisan ideas for the federal budget, we encourage them to read the six budgetary proposals No Labels has developed. We hope that both parties continue to work together to write a budget that works for the American people.