State representative plans to introduce paid parental leave bill

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SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4 News) – A local lawmaker says the state is missing out on quality employees and paid parental leave is the solution.

Starting a family is a challenge, and one of the biggest obstacles is time.

“They see that as something they deserve, and something their families deserve and many, many employers are choosing to provide that physical, mental, emotional family support,” said Representative Elizabeth Weight, (D) West Valley City.

Weight says the state is missing out on quality employees because it’s not competitive with paid family leave.

“We know that we are not keeping up with the private sector when we are not providing that particular leave,” she said.

She’s drafting a bill to offer full-time state employees six weeks of paid leave.

New moms and dads would be able to use it in the event of birth or adoption.

A similar bill has fallen flat several times, but Representative Weight says it’s worth another try.

“It’s time to pass that so that we are showing our state employees that we really are a family-sustaining and family-supportive and family-friendly state.”

Representative Weight is also looking into the possibility of adding foster care as a way to qualify for paid leave.

She plans to have the bill numbered soon and ready for the upcoming session.

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Glen Mills

Chief Political Correspondent

For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...

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