The Oregon House voted Tuesday to delay the rollout of the state’s new paid family leave program.
Lawmakers narrowly approved the measure, which will postpone benefits paid through the program by eight months, until September 2023. The program will be administered by the Oregon Employment Department.
Rep. Barbara Smith Warner, D-Portland, said that’s why the delay is needed. “As you may have heard, the Employment Department was extremely engaged over the course of the last year,” she said.
Smith Warner was referring to the agency’s backlog of unemployment claims as a result of the pandemic. The agency told lastmakers last month that the current deadlines in the program that lawmakers approved in 2019 were not achievable.
The bill that would delay the paid family leave program is now headed for the Oregon Senate.