CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Having a baby is an exciting time for a lot of families, but it can also be financially stressful. Many parents can't afford to stay home with their newborn.
A new Ohio bill could change that, offering up to 12-weeks of paid parental leave.
Parents we spoke with love the idea of paid family leave and some say it's long overdue. But some experts don't think this bill stands much of a chance of getting off the ground.
Angela Smith has two children and a baby on the way. Thursday night, she dropped off one of her daughters at Tumbles and Cheers in Avon.
This full-time working mom says she'll get six weeks of paid leave from her company when her baby is born.
"It's not a huge financial burden if I have to take a little unpaid leave. But I know there's people out there in smaller companies who don't have that luxury," Smith said.
Smith is in favor of paid family leave policies for families like hers.
"I just think it's a wonderful opportunity to spend time and develop that bond with your children, whether you get six weeks or 12 weeks that's time you never get back with your children," Smith said.
A new bill from Ohio House Democrats would give workers up to 12 weeks of paid leave per year for a new baby or to care for a sick family member. Lawmakers behind the bill say it would be partially paid for through employee payroll deduction and could cost workers about $30 dollars a year.
"The fact that it's brought up so late in the political season suggests to me they know there's no chance of this passing," said Todd Lebowitz, partner with Baker Hostetler.
Lebowitz thinks the bill is politically motivated. And he has a lot of questions about it.
"There may be a lot of value in the bill. It's 64 pages long, 1800 lines long, I skimmed it. It's going to require all sorts of economic analysis, it's gonna require regulations," he said.
Smith hopes the bill stands a chance, even though it will be too late for her.
"I think it's a wonderful opportunity, I hope that lawmakers are able to push it forward, that would be great," she said.
You can read the Ohio state house bill here.
The state of New York and San Francisco just passed paid family leave laws.
In San Francisco, working parents will get six weeks of fully paid leave to care for a newborn or sick family member. In New York, men and women can take up to three months off to care for a new baby or seriously ill family member.
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