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Paid Family Leave Bill Is Well Worth the Cost

July 20, 2002

I am one of many small-business owners who take umbrage at big business (and its mouthpiece, the Chambers of Commerce) for disparaging state Sen. Sheila Kuehl's (D-Santa Monica) paid family leave bill as another burden on the back of California business (Voices, July 13). Senate Bill 1661 would actually save businesses money and taxes by reducing dependence on government-supported home health care, transportation and emergency services; structured leaves would reduce tardiness and absenteeism; productivity would increase because workers would not be affected by worrying about a loved one.

A secondary effect would be that an ill loved one would recover faster and return to work. All of these reasons will also strengthen employee loyalty. As a small-business owner, I have no problem paying extra disability taxes. I count these toward the dues I pay to operate in the fifth-largest economy in the world. California's educated and highly trained work force, its staggering variety of products and services and its voracious but knowledgeable consumers are strong reasons for enacting Kuehl's SB 1661.

Kenneth W. Lock

Santa Monica

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