Testimony for FAMLI

On May 3, 2017, I appeared in front of the Colorado Senate State, Veterans, & Military Affairs Committee to testify about FAMLI. This effort has stretched over years, and resulted after immeasurable efforts to address concerns from stakeholders. Community members, small businesses, medical professionals, and activists all voiced their strong support for the bill. Though there were many impassioned personal stories and appeals, my role was to serve as a well-reasoned resource about the legality of the bill.

Here is the heart of my testimony:

Senators, the bill before you has been meticulously fine-tuned. It is not only legally sound for Employers and Employees, it is practical in its application. We have ensured that the framework here is legally familiar. It is in alignment with Federal ADA & FMLA laws, and similar to Colorado’s tried and true unemployment system.

As the world changes, technical tweaks may be necessary. If you have reviewed this bill and you have any doubts about how greatly this will benefit your constituents, I urge you to bring your concerns forward… The need for FAMLI will not disappear. This bill is a carefully vetted solution that is only possible through our legislature.

Following all of the testimony the Committee voted along party lines to kill the bill for this year. But we will continue to advocate for FAMLI in Colorado, and follow the powerful advice that one member of the committee, Senator Lois Court, gave just before the vote: FAMLI makes sense in every way. We can’t give up. Really important issues are worth fighting for, and this is as important as it gets.

Quick facts about FAMLI:

  • 88% of Coloradans do not have access to paid leave when they need it.
  • Representative Faith Winter put forth a bill called FAMLI, which would have created a family and medical insurance program in the department of labor and employment.
  • FAMLI would provide partial wage-replacement benefits to an eligible individual who takes leave from work to care for a new child or a family member with a serious health condition or who is unable to work due to the individual’s own serious health condition.
  • Twelve weeks of benefits would be available to an individual during a calendar year.
  • You can find the full language of the bill here: https://leg.colorado.gov/sites/default/files/documents/2017A/bills/2017A_1307_ren.pdf
  • More Info: www.facebook.com/COFAMLIAct