by Christina Sandefur and Frayda Levin
February 21, 2019
The push for paid family leave is gaining steam across the country. Four states—California, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island—already mandate some form of paid family leave, and Colorado is likely to enact a new paid leave requirement this year. The question on both sides of the political aisle is no longer whether such legislation should be passed, but what that legislation should look like.
However, realizing paid leave is easier said than done. In California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has proposed expanding California’s paid leave to six months, which would be the longest leave period in the nation. Despite a tremendous push to expand the state’s program, Newsom is struggling to get the idea off the ground. The state’s already-strained budget can’t support this very expensive proposition, and even the Democratic-controlled legislature seems unwilling to increase taxes to the extent necessary to sustain such a program.
Therein lies paid leave programs’ greatest challenge: Someone has to foot the bill.
Christina Sandefur is the Executive Vice President of the Goldwater Institute. Frayda Levin is a former small business owner and previously worked as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill and in the Reagan administration.