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Paid Parental Leave is Coming to Whitney Point

By Emily Girsch.
Paid family leave has become a topic of hot debate ever since Governor Andrew Cuomo rallied for it at his State of the State address.

In Whitney Point, Mayor Ryan Reynolds has adopted a new policy that would grant paid parental leave to full-time government employees in the village.

"There's no time like the birth of a child. It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience so we looked at that and said let's take care of our employees and take the lead on this," said Reynolds.

Reynolds' policy is only for parental leave and only for government employees, and it's only for two weeks.

There will be no payroll deductions. It will operate similar to a paid vacation.

What Cuomo is pushing for is paid family leave for other reasons other than the birth of a child, and for up to 12 weeks.

State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo supports the idea.

She said the funding will come from employee payroll deductions.

"I'm certainly in support of it. Many other states have gone in this direction. Almost every country in the world allows paid family leave," she said.

"It's very humane and a very important thing for us to be considering."

However State Assemblyman Clifford Crouch is against it, saying it will hurt small businesses.

"This is an issue where it's coming out of the employee's pocket and everybody's saying there's no cost but there could be a cost through the back door if you have like 10 or 12 employees and suddenly you've got 2 people out on paid family leave so you have to have the other employees pick up the slack," he said.