SPRINGFIELD, Ill.—State Rep. Katie Stuart, D-Edwardsville, is prioritizing first responders and helping promote more diverse recruitment among fire departments by creating a new paid family leave program for firefighters, paramedics and EMTs.

“First responders continue to put their lives on the line to protect Illinois families and communities, and we need to make sure we’re offering them the tools they need to care for their families,” Stuart said. “That’s why I’m working to provide equitable paid benefits to our firefighters who have given birth, and have to care for a newborn, newly adopted child, or sick family member. Doing so is important, and also removes barriers that can make it difficult for current and would-be mothers to serve their communities as firefighters.”

Stuart’s House Bill 3908 creates the Firefighter Paid Family Leave Act giving downstate firefighters who have been employed for one year up to six weeks of paid family leave that can be used for the birth of a child, care for a child, care for a newly adopted or foster child under 18 years of age, or to care for a family member with a serious health condition.

“Having this paid leave for new parents or others taking care of sick family members helps encourage retention while reducing stress and turnover, and will prevent first responders having to choose between their families and their careers,” Stuart said. “Through this legislation we are giving all first responders the same paid leave as our state police officers—creating an equal solution that helps promote physical health and well-being.”

Rep. Katie StuartRep. Katie Stuart

112th District

Springfield Office:
278-S Stratton Office Building
Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-8018

District Office:
2105 Vandalia St.
Unit #16
Collinsville, IL 62234

Phone: (618) 365-6650