Paid Family Leave

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democrats are criticizing Governor Chris Sununu's veto of a paid family and medical leave bill.

The bill would have offered up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave at up to 60 % of a worker’s salary. The state would've paid for this with a mandatory .5 % payroll tax.

Sununu called it an income tax and vetoed it on Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes, a Democrat from Concord, says that was a missed opportunity for the state.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu has vetoed the paid family leave bill backed by Democrats, as expected.

Sununu said the bill amounted to an income tax.

The bill calls for a .5 % payroll tax that would fund up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave at up to 60 % of a worker's salary. 

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. 

NHPR Staff

A paid family medical leave program cleared the New Hampshire House on Wednesday, setting up a possible veto from Gov. Chris Sununu.

Senate Bill 1, a top priority for Democrats this session, calls for up to twelve weeks of paid leave at up to 60 percent of a worker’s salary. Employees could use the benefit after the birth or adoption of a child, or take care of a sick family member.

josh rogers / nhpr

Back in January, when he was inaugurated, Governor Sununu urged all in Concord to embrace "a spirit of cooperation."

(Click here for NHPR's coverage and the text of Sununu's inaugural address.)

In a speech hosted by the Manchester Chamber of Commerce at St. Anselm College, Sununu struck a far sharper tone, calling some ideas being pushed by Democrats in Concord as "wacky."

NHPR Staff

Democrats in the New Hampshire Senate passed one of their  key priorities on Thursday, as a paid family medical leave insurance program cleared the chamber on a party line vote.

The measure, symbolically titled Senate Bill 1, creates a mandatory program that would let workers take up to 12 weeks of paid time off to take care of a loved one, or after the birth or adoption of a child. 

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

Democrats began their legislative push for a state-wide paid family leave program on Tuesday, calling the proposal a workforce development tool that will attract young families to New Hampshire.

“This is a paid family and medical leave insurance plan that is a real plan, that’s available, accessible, and affordable,” said Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes during testimony in a crowded Finance Committee hearing.

Robert Garrova for NHPR

New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu and Vermont Gov. Phil Scott announced a joint plan Wednesday to bring voluntary paid family and medical leave to the two states.

 

The two Republicans chose to make the announcement at Schilling Beer Co. in Littleton, a company near the state border that employs residents of both New Hampshire and Vermont.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Despite a last-minute push by supporters to save the bill, the New Hampshire Senate voted along party lines — 14 Republicans to 10 Democrats — to send a proposed paid family and medical leave program for further study.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House on Tuesday approved a bill that would create a family medical leave insurance program in the state.  

The measure--HB 628--would allow workers to voluntarily pay into a fund that could cover up to 12 weeks of paid time off.

Speaking on the House floor, Representative Douglas Ley, a Democrat from Jaffrey, told colleagues that without family medical leave, employees can be left to make a difficult choice.

Keren Fenton / thebirthphotographer.com

The New Hampshire House is expected to vote this week on a bipartisan bill to create a family medical leave insurance program in the state. The bill was originally on the docket for last week but is among a slew of votes that had to be rescheduled because of the winter storm.

The bill would allow workers to pay into a family medical leave fund that could cover up to 12 weeks of paid time off for things like serious medical conditions or the birth of a new child.

NHPR/Hannah McCarthy

A proposal to establish a paid family and medical leave insurance program had its first hearing Wednesday at the State House. The idea has been in the works for a while, but some advocates think New Hampshire is finally primed for the idea.

Parents, doctors and child advocacy groups are urging New Hampshire lawmakers to support paid family and medical leave and help reduce the costs of child care.

Supporters of the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy lobbied representatives Thursday on two bills. One would establish a family and medical leave insurance fund allowing for up to 12 weeks of paid leave. The other would add $15 million to the state budget to help families pay for child care.

Kristin Smith, Carsey School Of Public Policy / University of New Hampshire

Democratic lawmakers are pushing legislation to create a statewide paid family and medical leave program.   Today in Manchester, more than a dozen lawmakers attended a conference on the subject.

New research says an overwhelming majority of New Hampshire residents support paid family leave and medical leave insurance.

The survey found 88 percent of women and 76 percent of men support a law establishing a paid family leave and medical leave insurance program in the state.

PeterHDK / Flickr/CC

In his new book, Josh Levs says many dads today want to engage with their families, but old office stereotypes prevail, with corporate policies standing in the way.  He says that hurts not only fathers, but families and businesses as well.

This program was originally broadcast on 9/16/15.

    

GUEST:

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave Fails In N.H. House

Mar 12, 2015
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

The New Hampshire House has voted down a bill in a 2-1 margin Thursday that would mandate paid sick leave.

Under the measure, businesses with 15 or more employers would be forced to offer workers 40 hours of paid sick leave annually.  

Republican Len Turcotte of Barrington said mandatory sick leave would only lead to harmful regulatory policies for employers.

“Employee contracts between an employer and an employee is an agreement that is freely reached and should be reached between the two parties without bureaucratic inference,” Turcotte his fellow colleagues.

N.H. Lawmakers Set To Tackle Dozens Of Bills This Week

Mar 10, 2015
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

It will be a busy week at the New Hampshire State House with more than one hundred bills slated for votes by Friday. The bills range from decriminalizing up to a half an ounce of marijuana to tacking $5 onto marriage licenses to fund domestic violence prevention.

Nineteen other states, including the rest of New England, have adopted similar measures to make the possession of marijuana a violation rather than a crime. Should it pass the house, and decriminalization bills have before, it will face an uphill climb.

Brady-Handy Photograph Collection (Library of Congress)

Male-only swimming pools, too few bathrooms, inappropriate sexual comments: On today’s show the secret--and not so honorable--history of women in the U.S. Senate.

Then, common wisdom tells us that half of marriages end in divorce. Turns out, the oft-quoted number is wrong. We’ll debunk the pervasive divorce rate myth. And, we’ll take an unfiltered look at the state of family and maternity leave in America.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

NHPR Staff

A bill going before New Hampshire lawmakers would require employers to offer workers 40 hours of paid sick leave per year.

House Democrat Mary Stuart Gile of Concord is one of the sponsors, and says under the legislation, businesses with fewer than 15 employees would be exempt.

"Essentially, this bill is looking at workers in the service areas and who work part-time," she said. "For example, under our bill, people who work in offices but are not full-time workers would be able to have paid sick days."