On Monday, Gavin Newsom was sworn in as the 40th governor of California, which also means he’ll need to submit his first budget plan to the State Legislature this week.
According to the New York Times, one of Newsom’s expected items will be to expand California’s six weeks of partially paid family leave to an eventual, full six months — the longest amount of paid parental leave for any state in the country.
“We will support parents so they can give their kids the love and care they need, especially in those critical early years when so much development occurs,” said Newsom in his inaugural speech, though he didn’t mention a specific timeframe.
Supporters point to economic benefits by encouraging millions of women to join the labor force, but while both sides of the aisle have expressed support for increasing assistance for new parents, critics say the six month expansion is dramatic and unfeasible. Would the policy require a tax increase, let alone be approved by the Legislature? Could employers end up axing benefits and pay raises to account for total compensation? We hear from both sides.
Jenya Cassidy, director of the California Work and Family Coalition, an alliance of community organizations that was one of the key groups involved in leading the passage of California’s Paid Family Leave insurance program in 2002
Kevin Klowden, managing economist at the Milken Institute, where he is also executive director of their California Center and Center for Regional Economics