Weekly Policy Update: Family Medical Leave Insurance Program and the President’s Proposed Budget
By: Colorado BioScience Association Date: 03/15/2019
On Wednesday Senate Bill 188, FAMLI Family Medical Leave Insurance Program, was heard and passed out of the Senate Committee on Business, Labor & Technology. The bill would create a state-run family and medical leave insurance program to provide partial wage replacement benefits to an eligible individual who takes leave from work:
- to care for a new child or family member with a serious health condition;
- because the individual cannot work due to their own serious health condition;
- because the individual or a family member is the victim of abuse;
- due to needs arising from a family member’s active duty service.
The program would be funded by a premium paid by the employer and the employee, and based on a percentage of the employee’s yearly wages. The initial premium would be 0.52%, split 50/50 between the employer and the employee.
CBSA is opposed to this bill for a number of reasons, including:
- The bill does not align with the Federal Family & Medical Leave Act (FMLA), which could result in potential stacking of leave.
- The program outlined in this bill is broader than any other state-run family leave program in the country.
- Participation is mandatory for all employers, regardless of their size, whether they are public or private, or whether they already offer a paid leave program.
- An employer cannot require a worker to take the current benefits they already offer before taking the state FAMLI leave.
- Employers will be required to administer the program but won’t be reimbursed for administrative costs.
CBSA supports the concept of paid family leave for employees, but we think there is a way to accomplish that goal in a manner that works for employers and employees. We will continue to coordinate with our partners in the business community to work with the bill’s sponsors to convey our concerns and share suggested changes.
Earlier this week, the CBSA Policy Committee also voted to take following positions:
- A complete list of CBSA’s positions on 2019 state legislation can be found here.
President’s FY 2020 Budget Proposal
On Monday, President Trump released his FY 2020 budget proposal. While spending is ultimately determined by Congress, the budget document is an opportunity for the White House to outline its spending priorities.
There were a number of proposals included in the budget that focus on the issue of prescription drug prices. You can find a detailed description of those proposals, including estimated savings to the federal government here.
The Administration also released a 2020 budget fact sheet on the proposals focused on prescription drug prices.
The full budget proposal is available here.