Gov. Kristi Noem delivers her annual budget address Dec. 6, 2023, at the Capitol in Pierre. (Makenzie Huber/SD Searchlight)
A little more than a week will pass before a state board considers extending paid family leave to 12 weeks for state employees.
The Civil Service Commission was set to hear about the proposal on Tuesday afternoon, but the meeting was postponed until April 13 because of winter weather-related state government office closures, according to staff attorney Mallori Barnett.
The meeting would have been a first step toward partial fulfillment of one of Gov. Kristi Noem’s top legislative priorities going into the 2023 legislative session. Lawmakers rejected bills, backed by the governor’s office, that would have offered 12 weeks of full salary to employees with new babies and sick family members and offered financial incentives for private employers to expand paid family leave benefits.
During debate on the bills, some legislators mentioned that parts of the bills’ aims – namely moving from eight weeks of paid family leave pay at 60% of an employee’s salary to 12 weeks at 100% pay – could be accomplished without legislation.
The proposal up for a hearing with the commission on April 13 would not offer leave to those with ill family members or those whose spouses depart for military deployments. It also wouldn’t create an insurance pool for the public and private sectors to help cover the cost, as Noem’s legislative bills would have.
The commission meeting this month will take place virtually and begin at 11 a.m. on April 13.
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