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As I See It

Paid family medical leave a good idea for Wisconsin



At some point in our lives most of us will need to receive medical care. Or at least help care for a sick family member. But in Wisconsin, that often means deciding whether to get the necessary care, or earn a paycheck. Wisconsin remains among the states without a paid family medical leave program, meaning those who are sick or caring for a sick family member won’t be getting paid if they take time off. That should change. A bill introduced in Madison last week called the Paid Medical Leave Act would provide compensation for those who otherwise would have to choose between earning a paycheck and caring for a new baby or sick family member. Nearly 2.5 million workers in Wisconsin do not have access to paid family and medical leave through their employer. Many choose to quit work when faced with such a situation, and that increases the problem of worker shortages in the state. Providing paid family medical leave is a popular idea. A recent Marquette University Law School poll finds 73% of Wisconsinites approve of providing paid leave for new parents. This bill deserves to be passed, because we shouldn’t have to choose between caring for a sick family member and earning a paycheck.

Scott Robert Shaw serves as WIZM Program Director and News Director, and delivers the morning news on WKTY, Z-93 and 95.7 The Rock. Scott has been at Mid-West Family La Crosse since 1989, and authors Wisconsin's only daily radio editorial, "As I See It" heard on WIZM each weekday morning and afternoon.

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  1. Char Tomczik

    February 19, 2024 at 6:00 am

    I think this would help so many people. I lost my husband in October of 2022, I had just got over covid not feeling well and my husband had been sick for years with bad lungs and an infection that he had been treated for for years. He was coming to the end and I was worried about work and being out with covid so I went to work and came home and found him gone. He passed alone all because I needed that paycheck. So this could help so many not go through what I did.

  2. walden

    February 19, 2024 at 10:07 am

    “This bill deserves to be passed…”

    How exactly does a bill deserve to be passed? Who will pay? How long is the leave? How will small businesses be impacted? Like all Dem ideas this sounds like a great freebee but the world isn’t so simple, or free.

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