How Do You Get GOP Lawmakers to Support Paid Leave? Show Them That It Works (June 3, 2015).

By Rebecca Leber, The New Republic

When Rhode Island became the most recent (and third) state to adopt a paid family leave policy in July of 2013, the passage of the law was accompanied by predictable grumbling by GOP state lawmakers. State legislator Joseph Trillo said the law was “wide open for abuse.” “I’m very concerned about what will happen,” GOP lawmaker Doreen Costa said. Patricia Morgan, another GOP representative, complained, “in a year when we’re trying to improve business, this is not helping.” 

Eighteen months after the law went into effect in January of 2014, some lawmakers remain as staunchly opposed to the mandate as they were when it passed. In an email, State Assembly Minority Leader Brian Newberry confirmed his opposition: “While it is true that those relatively few individuals who use the program will benefit from it, it is equally true that most people paying that payroll tax into the system will never use the program and will never see any return for their money.”  He added, “Not only is there no benefit to them, there is an actual loss, both in terms of out-of-pocket taxation as well as in having to cover at work for any fellow employee who uses the benefit.”