Thousands of parents in Texas could get state access to paid family leave, if a bill filed in the Texas House on Wednesday passes.
According to State Rep. Penny Morales Shaw (D-Houston), author of HB 2604 known as the Texas Family Act, said 74 percent of Texans do not currently have access to paid family leave.
If the bill passes, the Texas Workforce Commission would establish the Texas Family Fund, which would allow parents to care for their newborn or adopted child for up to 12 weeks with full or partial wage replacement, up to $1,000 per week.
In the proposed legislation, the employer would contribute 0.15 percent of the worker’s annual wages, a cost some say is negative for a business from a economic standpoint.
Last month, State Rep. James Talarico (D-Austin) filed HB 2298 which would also provide 12 weeks of pain leave for a parent to spend time with their newborn baby. However, it also expands coverage for any Texas worker who needs to take time off to care for their own health, or take care of a sick family member.
The 88th Legislature convened on Jan. 10, 2023, and regular session ends on May 29, 2023.