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Dems Say Coronavirus Concerns Highlight Need For Paid Family Leave

Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights)
Andy Chow
Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights)

Gov. Mike DeWine (R-Ohio) and state health officials are urging people to stay home if they are showing any signs of being sick. This is a major step towards preventing germs as cold and flu season continues and concerns about the coronavirus grow. But Democratic lawmakers say staying home from work isn't an option for many Ohioans. 

Rep. Janine Boyd (D-Cleveland Heights) says many workers cannot take a day off because that means missing pay which can make or break their household budgets.

Boyd says concerns around the coronavirus highlight what she calls a stressful decision between staying at home or getting paid.

"They'll risk coming to work because they can't afford not to. And they will spread the virus further," says Boyd.

Boyd has sponsored HB91, a bill that creates a paid family leave insurance fund for all employees. The plans is driven by workers who opt in and pay premiums.

The bill has received two hearings in the House. But the legislation has no Republican co-sponsors. Meanwhile, GOP lawmakers were recently briefed on a very different family leave proposal from the Trump administration.

Copyright 2021 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.