DC leaders divided over paid family leave bill

WASHINGTON — D.C.’s top elected leaders disagree over a plan to provide paid family leave to people who work in the nation’s capital.

Mayor Muriel Bowser says she is not ready to support the bill, which would impose a tax on businesses to fund 11 weeks of paid leave for the birth or adoption of a child and eight weeks of leave to care for a sick relative.

“I don’t think anybody has seen the bill,” Bowser said. “I would be concerned about anybody saying that they supported something that cost $250 million without actually reading the legislation.”

Bowser said Tuesday she is hesitant to support the plan because many people who’d use the benefits do not even live in the District.

“I would be concerned about any program [under which] two-thirds of a new tax went outside of the city,” she said.

The payroll tax is expected to bring in about $250 million a year.

“There’s widespread support for this legislation,” said D.C. Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, who introduced the measure. “I think it’s going to be approved.”

The council plans to take up the bill on Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Nick Iannelli

Nick Iannelli can be heard covering developing and breaking news stories on WTOP.

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