PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island will become the third state to provide workers paid time off to care for a baby or sick loved one.

A spokeswoman for Democratic Gov. Lincoln Chafee says on Thursday he signed legislation that allows workers to collect a portion of their paycheck for up to four weeks if they're caring for a new child or ailing parent, grandparent or spouse.

California and New Jersey are the other states that offer it.

In Rhode Island, the program begins Jan. 1. Like the state's existing program for temporary disability insurance, it will be funded by a paycheck deduction and administered by the Department of Labor and Training.

Bill sponsor Sen. Gayle Goldin says it will allow working families to continue to pay rent when they're experiencing serious medical issues.