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Bipartisan Group Takes Aim at Streamlining Paid Family Leave Across the Nation

Originally posted by My ChesCo.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — A bipartisan working group co-chaired by Representatives Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and Stephanie Bice (R-OK) convened this week in Washington, D.C. Their goal? Discussing the creation of an Interstate Paid Leave Action Network (I-PLAN), an initiative aimed at harmonizing and enhancing state-level 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.”

The I-PLAN would serve as a platform for existing paid leave states to share best practices, formulate recommendations, and award grants. It aims to create equivalency standards for multi-state employers, harmonize policy differences to eliminate inconsistencies across state programs, and develop an electronic system for state paid leave programs to communicate, exchange data, and enhance program integrity.

The meeting was attended by key stakeholders, including state representatives, business leaders, and advocates from organizations like the National Governors Association, IBM, and the Better Life Lab at New America. These experts shared their insights on how an interstate network could function at the federal level and discussed the challenges faced by multi-state employers and the need for coordination among states.

The bipartisan working group’s efforts come at a time when paid family leave is a hot-button issue nationwide. While some states have taken the lead in implementing robust paid leave policies, others lag behind, resulting in a patchwork of policies that can be confusing for both employees and businesses. The I-PLAN could be a promising step toward creating a more streamlined, equitable approach to paid family leave across the country.

The working group, which includes Representatives Colin Allred (D-TX), Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-IA), Haley Stevens (D-MI), and Julia Letlow (R-LA), plans to continue its work in the coming months. As they forge ahead, the eyes of the nation will be on them, watching to see if their efforts can truly make paid family leave a reality for all American workers.