The passed Proposition 118 will allow for up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave.
With 89% of ballots reported and a vote margin of 57.2% to 42.8%, Colorado Proposition 118 has officially been passed. That means Colorado workers will now be able to receive up to 12 weeks of paid medical and family leave (or 16 weeks in the case of pregnancy or childbirth complications). The progressive program will be state-run and funded through a payroll tax which will be paid 50/50 by employers and employees. This approval by the public makes Colorado the first state in the country to establish paid family leave through a ballot measure.
By voting yes to Proposition 118, 1,634,475 Coloradans have shown their support for the establishment of one of the most comprehensive paid leave programs in the country, similar to ones already existing in California and New Jersey. Workers will now be able to take time off for a variety of reasons including to look after a new child, assist a sick family member, or care for their own serious health condition. The program’s premiums will be set at a 0.9% tax on employee wages (with 0.45% of that paid by the employer) and workers could receive up to 90% of their average weekly wage (capped at $1,100 per week).
Colorado lawmakers have been unsuccessfully trying to pass this leave legislation since 2014. They decided to put it to a public vote in this election, and it seems that decision paid off, as the majority of Coloradans supported the program’s creation.
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