“The House of Representative is considering a bill that, instead of being voluntary, would impose a mandatory and regressive payroll tax on Vermonters, costing an estimated $117 million every year.”
Mostly Democrat lawmakers in the House Ways and Means Committee advanced a paid family and medical leave insurance program on Tuesday that is both larger in scope and cost than the program put forth by Republican Gov. Phil Scott.
House Democrats’ latest push for a paid leave bill comes with a new addition: It would provide paid time off for people experiencing sexual or domestic violence.
Earlier this month, Lt. Gov. Molly Gray attended and led a legislative summit at the Vermont Statehouse to discuss a “universal” and “equitable” paid family leave program for the state.
This is one way that Republicans can win back the middle. Now state workers know that it was the Republican governor, not the Democrat supermajority, who was the first one to be able to deliver on a plan to give them paid leave.
The governor announced Tuesday that the state has hired The Hartford to set up a new Vermont Family and Medical Leave Insurance Plan, which is being pitched as a voluntary paid family and medical leave program to be fully implemented by 2025.
The Granite State Paid Family and Medical Leave Plan, a key part of Republican Gov. Chris Sununu’s agenda, will provide qualifying workers with 60% of their average weekly wage for up to six weeks per year. Sununu has billed the new voluntary paid leave law as “the first of its kind” in the nation.
“A statewide, private-market, truly voluntary paid leave plan does not exist in any other state, and New Hampshire is leading the way,” Sununu said in a statement.
“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 said. “This cost is not guaranteed to stay within the rosy forecasts predicted by its proponents and the taxpayers will be on the hook.”
The future of many Vermont small businesses is at risk due to a perfect storm of economic, regulatory and pandemic-related threats. Small business leaders are recommending several steps to support jobs and economic recovery.
Do we really need yet another big government program sucking hard-earned cash out of our paychecks? Like a fish needs a bicycle!
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced an agreement with state legislative leaders to establish a paid leave program for workers quarantined during the coronavirus crisis — legislation that would also include a permanent paid leave plan for the state.