For Immediate Release
April 4, 2019
Contact: Katherine Levasseur
VERMONT HOUSE GIVES PRELIMINARY APPROVAL TO UNIVERSAL PAID FAMILY & MEDICAL LEAVE INSURANCE BILL
Montpelier, VT - Today, the Vermont House of Representatives gave preliminary approval to H.107, the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance bill, on a vote of 92-52.
“A strong, universal family and medical leave insurance program is a key part of building a Vermont that works for all of us,” said lead sponsor Representative Robin Scheu (D-Middlebury). “Family leave ensures that our families and communities are healthy, and that Vermonters will have the ability to take time to care for themselves and their loved ones when they need it most. We know that lower wage workers are currently the least likely to have access to this type of benefit. When Vermonters are living paycheck-to-paycheck, they are unable to afford to take time away from work for parental leave or to care for an ill or injured loved one. If we want Vermont to work for all of us, we must support policies like this that ensure Vermonters should not have to choose between being able to pay their bills or being there for their child or loved one when they need it most.”
Tom Stevens (D-Waterbury), Chair of the House Committee on General, Housing, and Military Affairs added, “A universal paid family and medical leave insurance program will support Vermonters through all stages of life. Whether it’s bonding with a new child or caring for a family member, this bill will ensure current and future generations can thrive. This program allows qualified employees to receive up to twelve weeks per year for parental and bonding leave, and eight weeks for personal medical or family caregiving leave. Many Vermonters care for elderly parents or seriously ill or injured family members and they deserve to support their families the best they can during those times. We often cannot foresee a family member getting sick or injured. No Vermonter should be forced to choose between taking home a paycheck and caring for a loved one.”
“The paid family and medical leave insurance plan provides much needed economic security to Vermont workers and support to Vermont families,” said House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (D-South Hero). “It is no secret that Vermont competes with neighboring states for workers and economic development opportunities. This benefit levels the playing field for small businesses, who are least likely to be able to afford to offer this benefit on their own. Guaranteed family and medical leave will help Vermont remain competitive by retaining existing workers while making Vermont even more attractive for young professionals and families. Growing Vermont businesses and strengthening Vermont families are priorities of the House, and this bill puts Vermont on a path to ensure a healthy future and strong economy for generations to come.”