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Recent discussion regarding paid family leave in Oregon has sparked support mainly from small business owners. These business owners are at a disadvantage because small businesses cannot part with money as easily as large businesses. House Bill 3031 would make it less financially painful to offer paid leave by letting employees take part of their pay when on family or medical leave.

This policy would have employers and their employees split the bill 50-50 to pay for this program. This makes it more appealing and likely that employers would invite this policy into their businesses. There are some states including California and Washington that already have state-run paid family leave policies. Not having a paid leave policy makes it harder for small businesses to retain workers because the large businesses are able to offer paid leave already.

I fully support this policy. The United States is one of the few countries that does not offer paid leave which could be due to the fact that our policymakers care more about public matters than private ones (such as family matters). As an individualistic society, family issues are often “swept under the rug” and not acknowledged by policymakers.

I believe this policy is important because families are the building blocks of society and should be more highly valued as a whole. This would help small businesses grow, improve family life, set the future up for success, and benefit many other aspects of our society.

Quinn Weisensee

Corvallis (April 30)

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