News Release — Main Street Alliance
May 3, 2017
Kaycie Miltenberger, [email protected], 802-585-6242
MSA-VT: House Passes Family Leave Insurance Proposal, Support for Vermont Small Businesses and Families
“Vermont is a small business state. With its final approval of H.196, the Vermont House is making a strong statement about their commitment to supporting small businesses and their employees.
“Main Street Alliance of Vermont represents some of Vermont’s smallest employers, many of whom cannot afford to provide paid family leave on their own. A statewide family leave insurance program will make it possible for all Vermont employers to provide a paid family leave benefit, regardless of their size. The vote today is a positive first step toward stronger small businesses, healthier families, and a better future for our state.
“The bill, as passed by the House, covers 80 percent wage replacement for up to six weeks of caregiving leave, which will allow new parents to welcome a child and ensure Vermonters are able to take the time they need to care for a sick or injured family member. The Vermont House decided to delay consideration of the Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) component of the original bill that would have provided wage replacement for one’s own seriously illness or injury.
“By comparison, the four other states that have existing family leave insurance programs also cover between between 26 and 52 weeks of leave for one’s own personal illness or injury. While we strongly support the bill as it passed in the House, we also look forward to continued consideration of TDI next year in the House and Senate.
“Ninety percent of Vermont employers have fewer than 20 employees. A statewide family and medical leave insurance program will help small businesses be more competitive employers, which will grow and strengthen Vermont’s economy and attract more young people and families to move to and stay in Vermont.
“Vermont’s family leave insurance proposal passed the House with tri-partisan support and was the result of a positive collaborative process. Main Street Alliance of Vermont appreciates the work of the House this year and looks forward the Senate’s consideration of the issue in January.”