Detroit Evening Report: Gov. Whitmer advocates for guaranteed paid leave in Michigan

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Gretchen Whitmer addresses supporters at an election night event.

FILE - Gov. Gretchen Whitmer celebrates her re-election at the Michigan Democratic election night watch party at MotorCity Casino in Detroit, Mich. on Nov. 8, 2022.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is calling on Michigan lawmakers to create a new program expanding family and medical leave.

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Whitmer made guaranteed paid time off after the birth of a child or for health reasons a key policy proposal in a speech she gave Wednesday in Lansing.

“It helps workers be there for their families,” Whitmer said in her 24-minute speech. “It gives you breathing room to get better when you’re sick, to bond with your baby or care for a family member. Right now, 77% of Michigan workers do not have access to paid family, medical leave.”

Whitmer also made the argument that paid leave would attract new residents to Michigan, as well as level the playing field between large companies that offer paid leave and small businesses that don’t.

Whitmer’s spokesman Bobby Leddy said the specifics would be worked out by lawmakers and the governor’s office.

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  • Hernz Laguerre
    Hernz Laguerre Jr. is a Multimedia Journalist at 101.9 WDET. He is one of the co-host for "Detroit Evening Report," one of the weekend anchors for "Weekend Edition," the producer for our political podcast, "MichMash," and reports on arts, culture and politics.