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Senate panel approves paid parental leave for state workers
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ATLANTA (AP) — The Georgia Senate is supporting a plan to give three weeks of paid parental leave to state workers, teachers and university employees.

The Senate voted 52-0 for House Bill 146 on Thursday. Because the Senate made changes, the bill goes back to the House. If the House agrees, the bill will go to Gov. Brian Kemp for his signature or veto. If the House disagrees, the Senate and House must work out differences.

Nearly 250,000 employees of state agencies, universities and K-12 schools would be eligible for the leave after the birth, adoption or foster placement of a child.

House Speaker David Ralston, a Blue Ridge Republican, has made the measure one of his priorities. A similar bill nearly passed last year, but failed on the last day of the session in the Senate.

Currently, Georgia state employees are eligible for 12 weeks of unpaid leave as required by federal law.

Both mothers and fathers could use the leave. An employee would qualify after six months of continuous employment with a government agency, college or school.

 The measure does not cover leave to care for sick family members or for personal medical problems. It also doesn't cover private employers.

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