Denver — Colorado House Democrats on Monday approved a bill to create an employee-funded, $500 million program to allow private employees to take paid and family leave, sending it once again onto a very uncertain future in the Republican-majority Senate.

House Bill 1001, sponsored by Democratic Reps. Faith Winter of Westminster and Matt Gray of Broomfield, is the fourth such iteration of an effort since 2014 to take money from each worker’s paycheck — an amount estimated at 0.33 percent of the total payment — and put it into a pool that can be used by any worker to give them partial pay if they need to take extended leave to care for themselves or for a family member. The nonpartisan Legislative Council has estimated the program will generate as much as $1.8 billion when fully operational in the 2021-22 fiscal year and cost the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment $496.6 million to run.

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