In April 2008, the legislature and Governor Gregoire affirmed key recommendations of the taskforce by:
- Including $6.2 million in the supplemental budget for program start-up costs through June 2009.
- Assigning the Employment Security Department to administer the program.
- Directing ESD to implement efficiencies recommended by the taskforce in designing program systems. These will make the program less costly to administer and easier for new parents and businesses to understand.
What’s next: State policy leaders and the Washington Family Leave Coalition have committed to bring a proposal for dedicated funding for Family Leave Insurance to the 2009 legislature. The proposal may include both a short-term plan to fund benefits starting in October 2009 and a longer-term plan. It may also include a schedule for expanding benefits to care for seriously ill family members and a worker’s own serious illness.