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Washington • President Donald Trump's 2018 budget proposal will require states to provide paid family leave programs, a senior budget official said Thursday.
The official said the budget to be released Tuesday will include a plan to provide six weeks of paid leave to new mothers, fathers and adoptive parents. A departure from Republican orthodoxy, the proposal expands on a campaign pledge to provide paid maternity leave, which Trump adopted at the urging of his daughter Ivanka.
The official requested anonymity to discuss budget details in advance.
Under the plan, states would be required to provide leave payments through existing unemployment insurance programs and would have to identify cuts or tax hikes, as needed, to cover the costs. The administration said this approach would give states flexibility and stressed that the administration would provide support to state governments to help them determine how to fund the program. States could opt out if they create a different paid leave system.
Still, the approach would put the burden of funding the program on the states. It also could mean that the benefits could vary greatly by location. Democrats have proposed more expansive programs with different funding streams. During the campaign, Democrat Hillary Clinton pitched 12 weeks of family leave, paid for by taxes on the wealthy.
Trump's proposal is unlikely to win much Republican support. But the president has been an advocate of paid leave, mentioning it in his first speech to Congress in March.
During the budget planning process, Ivanka Trump organized a working group to meet on women and family issues. The group worked on the paid leave proposal, among others.
The administration also noted some other budget items aimed at women and families.
The Child Care and Development Block Grant and Head Start program would maintain the same level of funding. Both fund programs for children. And two health programs for women and children would get funding boosts. The Maternal and Child Health Block Grant would receive an additional $30 million and Healthy Start another $10 million.
The details were just a snapshot of Trump's budget. The early version of Trump's budget came under fire from family advocates for significant cuts to education, housing and health programs that advocates say could negatively affect women and children.