By David Madden

DOVER, DE (CBS) — Delaware Governor John Carney is backing a plan that could make his state the 6th in the nation to allow state workers to take paid parental leave.

The idea behind House Bill 3 has been bandied about in Dover for the last few years.

“Major Delaware employers such as Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase, DuPont, Astra Zenica, and others already offer paid parental leave,” Melanie Ross Levin, director of Delaware’s Office of Women’s Advancement and Advocacy, told KYW Newsradio, “and it’s time that the state offers it as well.”

The measure sits in a house committee right now.

Estimates of its cost vary, but come in at around $2.5 million the first year to cover overtime or part time replacements in various agencies. If approved, a parent could take up to 12 weeks paid leave to care for a newborn child.

“Most employees are in a position to cover each other for the short amount of time,” Ross Levin added, “but it means a tremendous amount to the people who receive the benefit who are starting this phase of life.”

She says the bipartisan support for the measure, paired with Carney’s backing, should lead to approval during this legislative term.

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