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Lawmakers approve paid parental leave for state workers

The House voted Monday to agree to changes to House Bill 146 made by the Senate, sending it to Gov. Brian Kemp for his signature or veto.

ATLANTA — A plan to give Georgia state workers, teachers and university employees three weeks of paid parental leave has passed the General Assembly.

The House voted Monday to agree to changes to House Bill 146 made by the Senate, sending it to Gov. Brian Kemp for his signature or veto.

Nearly 250,000 employees of state agencies, universities and K-12 schools would be eligible for the leave after the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child.

House Speaker David Ralston, a Blue Ridge Republican, has made the measure one of his priorities. A similar bill nearly passed last year, but failed on the last day of the session in the Senate.

Currently, Georgia state employees are eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid leave as required by federal law.

Both mothers and fathers could use the leave. An employee would qualify after six months of continuous employment with a government agency, college or school.

The measure does not cover leave to care for sick family members or for personal medical problems. It also doesn't cover private employers.