In his final months as governor, Jeff Colyer signed a new executive order providing Kansas government employees paid parental leave, making Kansas one of 15 states in the US to provide parental leave. Colyer signed the order Wednesday, which will create a police giving eligibility to state employees for three or six weeks of paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child. Primary caregivers would be eligible for six weeks, while secondary caregivers would be eligible for three.

During those weeks caregivers will receive 100 percent of their regular salary during their absence, as directed by the policy.

“I think this is an important initiative for all Kansans” said Colyer in a press release. “It shows how important our children are to us and how much we value family here in Kansas.

“I want state employees to have the same type of benefits that you see in private businesses across our state and nation; and I encourage all other statewide elected officials and agencies to adopt comparable policies for their employees.”

The executive order signed by Colyer stated the importance of having time to bond and nurture when a child is added to the family, and asserted paid time off increases the likelihood of mothers returning to work after leave, and decreases the chance of need for government assistance the first year directly following the birth or adoption.

Secondary caregivers are also offered the paid parental leave as it encourages a "more active involvement with their children and parental activities," stated the order.

While the policy will serve over 17,000 people under the governor's jurisdiction in the state of Kansas, the order will not apply to state employees of the Legislature or judicial branch. Offices held by other elected officials will not be included, such as the secretary of state's office.

The spokesperson for Colyer, Kara Zeyer, recorded in a Wichita Eagle article, stated the change would not impact Kansas fiscally in any way, as many employees already use vacation or sick leave in place of parental leave.

“The real question is what are the costs of not implementing this policy? The state misses out on attracting good employees. This helps us run the state more like a business,” Zeyer said in a Wichita Eagle article.