Proposition 118 passes, creating universal paid-leave program after years-long fight

    Colorado voters on Tuesday accomplished what Democratic lawmakers spent nearly a decade trying and failing to do, approving the creation of a new state-administered insurance program that will offer up to 12 weeks of paid leave to all Colorado workers.

    Shortly after 10:00 p.m., the Associated Press projected that voters had passed Proposition 118, placed on Colorado’s 2020 ballot through a signature-gathering campaign backed by progressive groups earlier this year. With more than 2.7 million ballots cast, the measure leads with 57% of the vote.

    Passage of the paid-leave measure follows repeated failures by Democrats at the State Capitol to pass a similar program via legislation. As established by Proposition 118, the program will be funded through a new 0.9% payroll premium split between employers and employees. Workers would be entitled to paid-leave benefits of up to $1,100 per week for up to 12 weeks, for a variety of reasons including the birth of a child and caring for themselves or a family member with a serious medical condition.