Parisi proposes ten weeks paid parental leave

 Dane County Executive Joe Parisi is proposing to give all county employees ten weeks of paid parental leave as part of his 2018 budget request.

Parisi has earmarked $642,000 for the initiative, to make sure employees get ten weeks of paid time off for the birth or adoption of a child.

The county executive is using statistics to make the argument that this would be in the best interest of everyone.

He cites a 2015 U.S. Department of Labor report, which found 60 percent of workers without fully paid parental leave reported difficulty making ends meet. Many said they had to put off paying bills, draw down savings and cut their leave short.

"We think its important in Dane County, in order to help the greater society by helping people bond with their kids, in order to help our employees adjust, and frankly in order to help us attract and retain the best employees to provide services to our community," said Parisi.

Along with this proposal, the county executive is urging Dane County companies to follow his lead in offering paid parental leave.

County Executive Parisi will submit his full 2018 budget request to the Dane County Board next Monday, October 2.

That will kick off the budget process, which is scheduled to conclude with a vote from the county board on November 20.

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