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House Bipartisan Paid Family Leave Working Group Holds Second Meeting on Legislative Framework Pillars

The meeting focused on the creation of an Interstate Paid Leave Action Network (I-PLAN)

  • Paid Family Leave Working Group Logo
WASHINGTON, D.C. – This week, members of the bipartisan Paid Family Leave Working Group, co-chaired by Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Stephanie Bice (R-OK), spearheaded a meeting to discuss the creation of an Interstate Paid Leave Action Network (I-PLAN). The idea of an I-PLAN is the second pillar of the working group’s legislative framework, which was released earlier this year. The meeting brought together key stakeholders, including state representatives, business leaders, and advocates, to explore the potential of I-PLAN in harmonizing and enhancing state paid family leave programs.


“States across our country are tackling paid family leave in various ways,” said co-chair Houlahan “As federal representatives, we are looking at ways to help coordinate and convene states to address the various policies they provide, make them more efficient, and therefore accessible to working Americans and businesses. We are thankful to all the subject matter experts that spoke with us to share their stories and lessons learned.”


The I-PLAN would convene existing paid leave states, formulate recommendations, and award grants in pursuit of (1) creating equivalency standards so that multi-state employers can design paid uniform, nationwide leave programs that will satisfy the quantitative benefit elements of each state’s employer-based plan requirements and help employees better navigate and access available benefits, (2) harmonizing differences in policy and operation to eliminate confusing, inconsistent, and inefficient variation across state paid leave programs, and (3) developing an electronic system for state paid leave programs so that they can communicate with each other, exchange data, and enhance program integrity, laying the groundwork to facilitate portability of benefits for employees.  


Key Attendees:

  • Cami Feek, Commissioner, Employment Security Department of Washington State
  • Charlie Arnowitz, Policy Advisor, Office of Governor Jared Polis, Colorado
  • Melissa Stone, Deputy Director, Disability Insurance Branch, California Employment Development Department
  • Tim Carlton, Legislative Director, National Governors Association
  • Jason Kanter, Government and Regulatory Affairs Executive, IBM
  • Dillon Clair, Director, State Advocacy and Litigation, ERISA Industry Committee (ERIC)
  • Greg Hoff, Associate Counsel, Director of Labor and Employment Law and Policy, HR Policy Association
  • Julie Squire, Vice President and General Counsel, National Association of State Workforce Agencies
  • Jessie Matton, Director of Corporate Social Impact at the National Partnership for Women & Families
  • Vicki Shabo, Senior Fellow for Gender Equity, Paid Leave & Care Policy and Strategy, Better Life Lab, New America
  • Ben Gitis, Policy Director, Bipartisan Policy Center

The objective of the meeting was to gather insights from states, businesses, and other stakeholders on how an interstate network could function at the federal level. The discussion delved into the challenges faced by multi-state employers, the need for coordination among states, and the potential of I-PLAN to streamline the delivery of benefits.


In addition to Co-Chairs Houlahan and Bice, the evenly divided House group includes Representatives Colin Allred (D-TX), Mariannette Miller-Meeks, M.D. (R-IA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), and Julia Letlow (R-LA).

The House bipartisan Paid Family Leave Working Group was launched in January of 2023 to explore federal paid family leave policies. Supported by the Bipartisan Policy Center and other organizations, the working group’s mission is to bring more paid leave to more Americans through enduring policy solutions.