Chafee highlights new paid family leave law

Rhode Island's governor is touting a new law giving workers paid time off to care for a new child or sick loved one.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee joined top lawmakers and supporters of the law at the State House on Tuesday for a ceremonial bill signing.

The measure allows workers to take up to four weeks off in a year to care for a new child or sick relative. Those on leave would make about two-thirds of their normal pay. Compensation is capped for anyone making more than $61,400.

The program will be funded by a payroll deduction. Public-sector workers are ineligible.

Advocates for women, children and the elderly pushed for the new law.

"Temporary caregivers insurance will enable working people to care for their children, their parents, their loved ones without worrying about falling behind on their bills or losing their jobs. It's a win-win-win for the workers, for employers, for the Rhode Island economy," said Marcia Cone of the Women's Fund of Rhode Island.

Rhode Island is the third state after California and New Jersey to adopt a paid family leave law.

Cone said the California law, which has been in effect for 10 years, has saved millions.

NBC 10 contributed to this report.