The co-leader of the state Senate on Friday hailed U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for pushing a federal bill to broaden and boost family leave benefits, but said New York shouldn’t wait for Congress to take the legislation up.
Gillibrand was in Albany on Friday to promote her Family and Medical Insurance Leave Act, which would provide for paid leave to care for an ill family member. The benefits would be distributed through a trust fund, which would be paid for by both the employee and the employer contributing .2 percent of wages.
Senate Independent Democratic Leader Jeff Klein, D-Bronx, said a federal bill is a good idea. But New York should act sooner, he said.
“We cannot afford to wait for congress to act,” Klein said in a statement. “When it comes to family leave insurance, New York has already fallen behind states like New Jersey and California, so we must take strong statewide action to provide families with the benefits they deserve.”
Democrats in Albany appear poised to push for expanding paid leave benefits in New York this year. Both the Independent Democratic Conference and Assembly Democrats had raised the issue with separate reports last month, and its been subject to talk for several years now.