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Roy Williams, Jr., Appointed To Springfield City Council; Council Approves Paid Parental Leave

City of Springfield

Springfield’s Ward 3 has a new representative to the city council. Ald. Roy Williams, Jr., was sworn in Tuesday night after the council approved his appointment with no dissenting votes.

Six aldermen changed their votes after the council rejected his initial appointment a few weeks ago.

Williams will serve out the remainder of State Sen. Doris Turner’s term, who resigned the seat last month after her appointment to the Illinois Senate.

Williams took initial votes as alderman supporting grant money for minority-owned businesses and home improvement projects on the east side of Springfield, and paid parental leave for city employees.

The city council approved four weeks of paid maternity and paternity leave in a split vote Tuesday night. The measure now awaits a signature from the mayor. 

Opponents  worried about the potential cost of overtime to cover new moms and dads taking leave. City officials argued employees are already taking paid leave, using sick and vacation days.

But supporters said younger and newer employees shouldn’t have to sacrifice that time, and paid parental leave is a basic benefit.

The leave would be available to all of the roughly 1,300 city workers, including police officers, firefighters, and City Water, Light and Power employees.

Mary Hansen is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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