Vermont House Passes Paid Family and Medical Leave Bill

23 January 2020

Montpelier, VT - Today, the Vermont House passed H.107, the Paid Family and Medical Leave bill on a vote of 89-58.

Today’s vote was the final hurdle for the proposed legislation before it heads to the Governor’s desk. The bill guarantees up to 12 weeks of paid parental or bonding leave and up to 8 weeks of paid family care leave. The bill also contains the opportunity for individuals to opt-in to a personal medical leave policy for up to 6 weeks.

“The strong support from both chambers in the legislature shows what a priority this is for communities across the state,” stated House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero). “Passing this bill into law will make Vermont the eighth state to implement a paid family and medical leave program and is a critical piece in recruiting and retaining a workforce in Vermont. So many Vermont families stay here and so many new residents make Vermont their home because we offer a strong quality of life and strong supports for our families. A paid family and medical leave policy will make Vermont the best place to live, work, raise a family, and grow a business.”

House General Housing and Military Affairs Committee Chair, Representative Tom Stevens (D-Waterbury) said, “in an era where too many Vermonters struggle to save for an emergency fund, a paid family and medical leave policy presents a critical opportunity for Vermont to take action on our shared commitment to address the wage gap and improve the lives of working families. Paid family leave puts more money in the pockets of working Vermonters, cultivates economic growth, and helps our state prosper.”

“We’ve all heard stories about families struggling during the best and worst times,” added House Majority Leader, Representative Jill Krowinski (D-Burlington). “Examples like the single mom who desperately wanted to stay home with her baby but had to go back to work after a couple weeks. Like the young professional who moved back to Vermont to help care for her sick parent. She used up all of her sick days and had to choose between taking care of her mom and paying her student loan. Like the families who are struggling to help a loved one through addiction. I think it’s really important to highlight that taking care of a family member in opioid treatment and recovery is covered under this bill. This is a critical tool ensuring people have the support they need as they fight addiction and get treatment. We took a vote today to rewrite the rules to help families get ahead. Vermonters cannot afford for us to delay any longer. I call on the Governor to support working families and sign this bill.”

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