Arkansas bill to focus on paid maternity leave


Ahead of the 2023 Arkansas General Assembly, multiple bills have already been filed tackling several subjects.

On Monday, District 69 Rep. Aaron Pilkington filed a bill that would require certain employers to provide paid maternity leave.

According to KATV, HB 1006 would require employers who cover abortions or travel expenses related to abortions to also provide 16 weeks of paid maternity leave to employees who are residents of Arkansas.

“I wanted to pass pro-family policies and I have always been a fan of paid family leave,” Pilkington said. “However, I know that it is an expense for a lot of businesses, and when I saw that there were businesses that are willing to pay for women to terminate their pregnancies, they should also be willing to offer women the choice of paid family leave. If these companies truly say that they want to support choice, then they would support women who choose to have children and not just incentivize women to get abortions.”

The bill would also not require employers who do not cover abortion-related expenses to provide paid maternity leave.

“Arkansas would be the first state in the union, to my knowledge, that would have a paid family leave bill and abortion ban,” he added.

On Tuesday, Nov. 15, Sen. Ben Gilmore and Rep. Jimmy Gazaway filed “The Truth in Sentencing and Parole Reform Act of 2023.” The goal of the bill would be to amend Arkansas law concerning sentencing and parole.

The 2023 General Assembly begins on Monday, Jan. 9.

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