In IPP news this week, the Women’s Foundation released new research conducted in partnership with the Institute of Public Policy that supports proposed legislation to expand Earned Family and Medical Leave to Missourians. Last March, Gov. Greitens signed EO 17-09, granting executive branch employees up to six weeks of parental leave following the birth or adoption of a child. Several measures are now under consideration to extend Earned Family and Medical Leave to all Missourians. House Bills 1974 and 1956, introduced by Rep. Hannah Kelly and Rep. Tracey McCreery, respectively, and Senate Bill 607, sponsored by Sen. Jill Schupp, are all supported by the Women’s Foundation. HB 1974, if approved would provide eligible employees up to eight weeks of leave per 12-month period to care for a new child or seriously ill family member. Employees would contribute .25 of 1% of their weekly pay beginning in 2020 and would be able to receive 67% wage replacement as early as 2021. HB 1956 and SB 607, if approved, would provide eligible employees 100% wage replacement for up to six weeks.
The research conducted by the Institute found that “80% of the public favors paid maternal and medical leave, 60-70% favor paternal bonding leave and about 35% of the population feels that expanding paid leave should be a government priority.” The findings outline existing and pending leave practices in other states, attempts within Missouri and federal efforts, as well.