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Published on Friday, February 1, 2013

Family Medical Leave insurance bills

The Legislature is hearing bills on whether to expand and fund changes to the Family Medical Leave Insurance (FMLI) program, or whether to remove the program from statute. Two bills, HB 1457 and SB 5292, would establish funding for and implement the Family Medical Leave Insurance Act adopted in 2007. Some early estimates show significant costs to local governments. SB 5159 would remove the act from statute and is supported by legislators concerned with the fiscal impact on an already strained economy.

In 2007, Washington established the FMLI program to provide for paid leave for employees, but implementation was delayed until 2015. Since then, there have been no successful solutions to fund the program.

SB 5159 had a hearing in the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee and is scheduled for executive session February 4 at 1:30pm. HB 1457 is being heard on February 5 in the House Labor & Workforce Development Committee.

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