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Welcome to The Seattle Times' online letters to the editor, a sampling of readers' opinions. Join the conversation by commenting on these letters or send your own letter of up to 200 words

February 14, 2013 at 4:00 PM

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Repeal family-leave law in Washington state

A viable funding structure

I was disappointed to read The Seattle Times editorial advocating for the repeal of our state’s Family and Medical Leave Insurance law [“State should repeal family-leave law,” Opinion, Feb. 12].

It’s unwise to force new parents to choose between returning to work early, sacrificing family health and well-being and facing financial challenges that threaten their ability to provide for their new families.

I am sponsoring Senate Bill 5292, which creates a viable funding structure that will not cost the state budget any money. It would likely actually save the state money in the long run by helping new families stay off more expensive state support like food stamps.

This is a common-sense reform that will make a big difference for families. New mothers should be able to spend their first few weeks of parenthood bonding with their babies, not worrying about paying the rent. Paid family leave will make that possible.

--Sen. Karen Keiser, D-Kent, 33rd Legislative District

State aid not necessary

I, too, believe that the family-leave law should be repealed. I support Sen. John Braun, R-Centralia.

Employees can take time off from work for any family medical or support issue, using the 12-week federal Family Medical Leave Act provisions. At the same time, [they can] use any accumulated employer-provided benefits such as vacation time, disability pay, severance pay, medical leave, etc., and not rely upon the state to provide financial aid.

Each of us, in one way or another, should plan for emergency funding needs and not depend upon the taxpayers of Washington and employers to provide an additional financial benefit. The state has too many other more important issues to address, and [should] not, at the same time, deepen our financial debt.

--John Marthens, Normandy Park

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