Updated: Paid parental leave bill for state workers signed by governor

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Delaware Gov. John Carney Saturday night signed a bill that provides 12 weeks of paid parental leave for Delaware state employees. The legislation becomes effective in April 2019.

The bill passed the Senate with bipartisan support by a 16-4 margin. It earlier passed the House by a two to one margin.

Delaware is the sixth state to offer the benefit to public workers. The change is expected to cost more than $2 million a year in state and local costs. The local costs are borne in paying public school employees.

“State workers and teachers deserve time to spend with their families when their children are born, and this benefit for new mothers and fathers will help us attract and keep good employees,” Gov John Carney stated. “Thank you to all state workers, members of the General Assembly, and advocates who helped Delaware lead on this important issue. With this vote today, Delaware is making clear that we support and value families. I look forward to signing this legislation into law.”

“The State of Delaware has an opportunity to lead on leave, and I am so encouraged by the support of my colleagues and Gov. Carney. Our dedicated state workers deserve to have the time to experience the all-important and educational “firsts” with a new child, without the anxiety of leaving their child too soon,” saidRep.;Debra Heffernan, D- north Wilmington, the prime sponsor of House Bill3. “Having a child is completely life-changing, and we should be supporting our state workers as they navigate that experience.”

The United States is one of only nine countries in the world – and the only industrialized nation – that does not offer paid maternity leave, and one of only a handful of high-wealth nations that does not offer paid paternity or parental leave.

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