California is already among the most progressive states when it comes to providing parental leave, but if Gov. Gavin Newsom’s new paid parental leave policy goes into action, it will be the best in the country.

Last week, Newsom revealed his budget plan for the state of California. Among its initiatives, he plans to spend the state’s surplus on is a new parental leave policy that would offer parents six months of paid time off to bond with their new babies. In 2002, California became the first state to offer paid parental leave. The California Paid Family Leave provides up to six weeks of partial pay to employees (both women and men) in order to take time off when they welcome a new baby, either through birth or adoption.

Under Newsom’s new plan the paid leave would be extended to six months, although not per parent. Previously each parent was able to take six weeks for a combined four months. “It’s a developmental necessity,” Newsom said in a press conference. “We’re committed to this.”

We’ll have to wait to find out if this new policy will actually get enacted, but if so, it could hopefully be the first step in pushing other states towards similar policies.

—Shahrzad Warkentin

Featured photo: Daria Shevtsova via Pexels



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