Colorado voters passed a paid family leave plan—because they could no longer wait for politicians to do it

They made history as the first state to pass paid family leave through a proposition instead of legislation.

Colorado voters passed a paid family leave plan—because they could no longer wait for politicians to do it
@NatalyaBodrova/Twenty20

Millions of Americans are still without paid family leave, but on November 3rd Coloradans voted to change that in their state. According to the Associated Press, Proposition 118 passed, paving the way for 2.6 million people in Colorado to access 12 weeks of paid family or medical leave.

It's not dissimilar to Washington state's plan, where paycheck deductions (about $5 on a $2,000 paycheck) pay into a plan to provide 12 weeks of paid leave when workers need it.


The plan Coloradans voted for on Tuesday will see about $4.50 a week deducted from workers' pay so that workers can receive up to $1,000 a week for 12 weeks of paid leave, starting in 2024.

The really interesting thing about this is that while states like Washington and California got a paid leave plan in place through legislation, Colorado just made history as the first state where voters—not legislators—approved a paid leave plan, The Colorado Sun reports.

Politicians in Colorado have been trying for years to get a paid leave plan approved, but it kept stalling, even with bipartisan involvement. Putting it to the people got it through.

Colorado joins eight states (Washington, California, Connecticut, Oregon, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Rhode Island) and D.C. in creating paid leave plan for working families.

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