GOP lawmakers want to repeal New Hampshire’s paid leave plan

By Christian Wade | The Center Square

A group of Republican lawmakers in New Hampshire are pushing to scuttle Gov. Chris Sununu’s yet to be implemented paid family leave law.

A proposal heard by the House Labor, Industrial, and Rehabilitative Services Committee on Thursday would repeal the new law allowing workers whose businesses participate to get paid at least 60% of their regular wages for up to six weeks, if they take time off for personal health or family reasons.

U.S. Department of Agriculture

Gov. Chris Sununu came back with a plan of his own that made the paid leave system voluntary and didn’t require universal coverage. He pushed the plan through the GOP-controlled Legislature during last year’s budget process, with support from Democrats and opposition from some Republican lawmakers.

Supporters of repealing the law argue that taxpayers shouldn’t foot the bill for state workers covered by it, and that the government shouldn’t be meddling with private industry.

“While the program was sold as a voluntary private insurance program, it is 100% taxpayer funded for the 11,000 state employees covered by it,” Rep. Andrew Prout, R-Hudson, the bill’s primary sponsor, told the panel. “This cost is not guaranteed to stay within the rosy forecasts predicted by its proponents and the taxpayers will be on the hook.”

Prout said the new law is an example of government overreach into the private sector, which will drive up costs for struggling business owners.

“We don’t need programs like this to offer great benefits to employees,” he said. “We’re in the middle of one of the severe labor shortages and companies are offering incentives to hire and retain employees.”

He said the plan will also affect county, municipal and local school budgets, suggesting that the paid leave program would eventually spread to other levels of government.

“This program will metastasize and grow … and local governments will be left holding the bag,” Prout said.

The new paid family and medical leave program, which gets underway in 2023, was approved as part of the state’s two-year $13.5 billion budget signed by Sununu last year.

There are several categories under which qualifying workers could take the time off, including the birth of a child or to care for a newborn, an adopted baby or child. They could also get time off to care for a spouse, a child or parent who has a serious health condition. The state’s 11,000-member workforce automatically qualifies for the benefits.

New Hampshire has wrangled over the creation of a paid leave program for several years, with partisan divisions over making the program mandatory for employers.

In 2019, Sununu vetoed a paid family leave bill approved by the then-Democratic controlled Legislature that would have required businesses to provide universal coverage. He called the plan an “income tax” and vetoed a similar proposal offered by Democratic lawmakers last year.

But Sununu came back with a plan of his own that made the paid leave system voluntary and didn’t require universal coverage. He pushed the plan through the GOP-controlled Legislature during last year’s budget process, with support from Democrats and opposition from some Republican lawmakers.

Businesses that participate in the program and pay for employee premiums can deduct 50% of the amount they paid in premiums from their business enterprise taxes, the law states.

At least eight states and the District of Columbia have passed paid family and medical leave programs, including California, which was the first to approve such a law in 2002, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Several states, including Massachusetts, have made participation in paid leave programs mandatory for many private employers and began withdrawing contributions from workers’ paychecks even before the laws went into effect.

Image courtesy of U.S. Department of Agriculture

7 thoughts on “GOP lawmakers want to repeal New Hampshire’s paid leave plan

  1. We are to hate evil Neil not embrace it. Oh no Neil – the ones who walk on water are your Democrat friends – I for one get that. Did have a brief discussion w/you and stated the Constitution needs to be @ the core of our party, political beliefs and what drives any dicussion – not harebrained ideas such as a porn tax which ain’t gonna happen either. No response lol.

    Have politically connected child and spouse in-law in NH, I of all ppl know the scumbaggery that lurks in NH from reports. And just so ya know read Granite Grok all the time, and tho it’s well understood this is not just a VT problem, or even NH problem but widespread across the nation – your mudslingings against me and my party which you claim are nonexistant are just that, nothing more, tiresome drivel and got old quick. You say nothing substantive but lots of unserious silliness.

    And I see tho you concern-troll the site by encouraging them to remove all Rinos, intrepid journalists such as Steve, Skip and th rest doing yeomans work, being much smarter than you do not trifle with such foolishness bc it is simply not possible sir but work diligently to expose the rot of the party while supporting conservative movement. It is done by purging. Patriots filling the ranks and challenging the Rinos. The Sununu money is driving it but cannot be overthrown with your unending silly ideas designed primarily to trash the party using strawman of Rinos making you an Iino Neil. Clearly have a dog in race – your failed worldview and beleif system, a sore loser and what drives your bus. GMP is not coming back may I suggest you pick a party and use time to support others rather than tear them down.

    And I would challenge you to outline in detail using what scant journalistic skills ya possess a TNR op-ed on how this would be done and the liklihood that it could be done. If you cannot do this you’re just howling at the moon, blowing smoke and venting you abject hatred for succesful conservatives using name calling and rude insulting behavior – what an accomplishment.

    • And you didn’t answer the question. But you did prove my point, much appreciated. Glad we agree.

      Not sure why you keep brining up something that no longer exists, not can I even print the words on this site. I can say we tried.

      I don’t have to pick a party, only vote and support for good men and women, but thank you. There is no party in Vermont that solidly stands for the Republic and America. I will not vote for Scott, nor Benning. I will support the likes of Thayer, Strong, Klar, Hansen and others of the same mindset.

    • You and your party, Gov Scott is this you? Seriously? Btw you don’t own the party, but you are driving it into the ditch.

      Porn tax is a great idea, sorry it might get into your budget.

  2. There’s still some kick left in the cow, at least on the other side of the river. They need to jettison their lead man, he just carries water for the NWO, rino’s are worse than the enemy, they are traitors.

    • Abject hypocricy much lol…DemMarxist ilk you run with and waterboy for are traitors extraodinaire…so…an Independent In Name Only is no better than a Rino however aiding and abetting the enemies of our state and nation who *never* vote R is far worse imo…and *all* of the above are traitors. One thing is quite clear…ya hate Republicans and as a GOP Party member I find your hatred and the rest of the Dem Party wrecking-crew reprobates here in VT comic book evil

      “Decoding The Downfall One Facepalm At A Time”

      “Keeping The Honest Honest”

      • The love and admiration, thank you so much. If you read Granite Grok, you’d know the entire party has a similar opinion.

        But then if somebody says they are Republican, I’m supposed to believe they walk on water, that’s the difference between us.

        But then you can’t have a discussion, but can only sling mud. Please enlighten me how Gov Sununu is not a corporatist, is not carrying water for the NWO.

        I’m all ears. I appreciate how you always stand up for people that do our country a huge disservice. You are very consistent, but ever so elusive because you hide behind a pseudonym. I’m sure many would love to know thy name.

        Thank you for consistently demonstrating why we are in such a mess.

Comments are closed.