- Associated Press - Friday, February 12, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - People packed a D.C. Council hearing Thursday to speak for and against a controversial plan to provide several weeks of paid time off for residents.

The Universal Paid Leave Act proposes 16 weeks of paid leave for the birth of a child, a medical condition or caring for a sick relative. The benefit would be funded by a new payroll tax.

Melanie Campbell, president of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, said about 37 percent of D.C. families have a single woman as the sole breadwinner. She said those women need to be able to take care of their family or themselves when they get sick.

Several business owners expressed disapproval for the proposal. Kathy Hollinger, president of the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington, said a 1 percent payroll tax is “more significant than it sounds.”

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