- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lawmakers are working to ensure hourly employees get paid family leave to take care of a child or aging parent through a bipartisan bill introduced this week.

Sens. Deb Fischer, Nebraska Republican, and Angus King, Maine independent, introduced the Strong Families Act, which would offer employers a tax credit for providing paid family leave, as well as open up the benefit to part-time and hourly employees.

“This is going to give them flexibility,” Ms. Fischer said Thursday on MSNBC. “If they need to take off an hour or two to care for an aging parent or bring a child to a doctor, that’s something they can do.”

Mr. King, who caucuses with the Democrats, said working across the aisle gives the bill the best chance to move forward.

“The reality here is nothing goes anywhere unless it’s bipartisan. That’s just arithmetic. It’s the math of the place,” he said.

Ms. Fischer said the bill is a good blend of helping families while also supporting businesses.

“It recognizes and respects that families have unique needs and we need to help them with that, offer a good plan, but it also balances that with the cost of doing business that employers face,” she said.