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On Paid Family Leave Bill, Democrats Urge Sununu To Reconsider Promised Veto

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Democrats on Monday called for Governor Chris Sununu to reconsider plans to veto a paid family and medical leave proposal. 

State Senator Martha Fuller Clark visited Moonshine, a small business in Portsmouth, to urge Sununu to sign the proposal known as Senate Bill 1.

It involves a .5 % payroll tax to fund up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave at up to 60 % of a worker’s salary. 

Fuller Clark says small businesses like Moonshine can’t afford to provide paid family leave on its own, and could benefit from the Democrats’ plan, which is funded by a payroll tax.

“All of us together have joined in a social contract to create an insurance program that could be needed by any one of us at any time in our lives,” she said.

Standing in front of a small neon sign that read “hustle,” Fuller Clark also said the program would also attract more millennials to the state.

Sununu has called the plan an income tax, and suggested an alternate program for state workers that private businesses could join. But Fuller Clark says the Democrats’ plan would be cheaper and more effective. 


“He doesn’t recognize that we’re in a very different economy where we now have both members of a family who are working," she said.


The plan has passed both chambers of the legislature and is likely to reach Sununu’s desk this week. 

Annie has covered the environment, energy, climate change and the Seacoast region for NHPR since 2017. She leads the newsroom's climate reporting project, By Degrees.

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