The Family and Medical Leave Insurance (FAMLI) Act was struck down by the Senate State Affairs Committee in a 3-2 vote Monday.
The bill would have established an insurance fund to provide partial wage-replacement benefits to eligible individuals taking leave from work to care for a child, family member, or who are unable to work due to their own health conditions. The funds come from a premium paid by each employee in the state based on their yearly wages.
Despite making it through the House for the second year in a row, the bill could not get through the Republican-controlled Senate. The committee’s vote was condemned by women’s organizing and advocacy group 9to5 Colorado.
“The House led the way with a Colorado solution to ensure the well-being and financial stability of working families while staying competitive in a national and global market, but the Senate turned its back on working families,” said Neha Mahajan, Director of 9to5.
Coloradans share this sentiment, with dozens of organizations and businesses making up the Colorado FAMLI Coalition. Some of these organizations include 9to5, MomsRising, COLOR, the Colorado Fiscal Institute, Bell Policy Institute, and Livelihood Law.
The purpose of the coalition is to support the FAMLI Act by promoting the job security, business-friendly model, and health benefits the bill would provide.
“Providing paid leave to all Colorado families is good for employees and employers alike,” said Mahajan. “No one should lose their job or their paycheck for being a responsible family member. We are deeply disappointed that families will have to continue making painful choices such as attending chemotherapy appointments or facing retaliation on the job, being by their sick baby’s side or paying rent, caring for a dying parent or keeping the lights on.”
Currently, 88 percent of working Coloradans do not have access to paid leave.