California governor Gavin Newsom just proposed 6 months of parental leave

Rupal Asodaria

Every day, new parents in America go back to work way sooner than they should.

Newly elected California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday proposed what would be the most generous paid parental leave policy in the nation: six months of partially paid leave so parents or other family members can care for a newborn or newly adopted baby.


The policy would roll out slowly. At a press conference unveiling the state’s $209 billion budget on Thursday, Newsom said that leave would be paid for mainly with existing funds.

“It’s a developmental necessity,” Newsom said of paid leave. “We’re committed to this.”

If put into practice this plan (while still not offering as much time as parents in other countries get) would be the best in the country, and could put pressure on other states to implement or lengthen paid leaves for parents.

Newsom, a father of four young kids who was elected in November, also included in the budget "funding for universal preschool for all income-eligible four-year-old children in the state, phased in over a three-year period. This funding will allow state preschool providers to offer full-day/full-year care to better accommodate working parents."

Paid leave for women also helps keep them in the workforce. And the U.S. lags other nations when it comes to the percentage of women who work outside the home.

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