Governor Lamont Announces Agreement Reached on Landmark Paid Family and Medical Leave Proposal
(HARTFORD, CT) – Governor Ned Lamont today announced that his administration has reached an agreement with the legislature on the landmark Paid Family and Medical Leave proposal currently being considered by the General Assembly.
The agreement, which was reached earlier today, includes the following changes, which the governor felt were necessary to ensure the $400 million start-up could nimbly and efficiently make decisions and contract with potential vendors to ensure the highest level of quality and service for both beneficiaries and taxpayers alike:
- Reduced size of the quasi-public board
- Previously, there were 15 voting members. Now there are 13 voting members (The treasurer and comptroller are additional non-voting members).
- The governor has seven appointments and the legislature has six appointments.
- The governor selects the chairperson of the quasi-public board.
- Streamlined the quasi-public’s contracting provisions
- Previously, most contracts that the quasi-public agency entered into would require a two-thirds vote of the board, to be taken only after a three to four month waiting period. Now, professional staff at the agency will score and award the contracts using criteria agreed upon by two-thirds vote of the board, without a waiting period.
Governor Lamont said, “We all agreed on the need to pass this landmark support for working families so they don’t have to choose between the job they need and the family they love, or their own health. I’m proud to soon sign my name on a piece of legislation that will help ensure this program is a national model and remains solvent for years to come. At the same time, I want to make it clear that while the board will consider both public and private entities for administration, no matter who administers the claims, there will be no profit motive to deny any applicant. This is the right thing to do for our state, and I’m grateful that we were able to come to an agreement and do what is best for the people of Connecticut.”
Senate President Pro Tempore Martin Looney said, “No longer will Connecticut families have to choose between the necessity of going to work due to the inability to live for even a short time without a paycheck and caring for a newborn, a sick family member, or even neglecting their own health. This long overdue strong paid family medical leave program is necessary and beneficial for all Connecticut workers in our modern economy.”
Speaker of the House Joe Aresimowicz said, “Virtually everyone agrees workers should be able to take time to care for loved ones, because it is the morally right thing to do. An earned family leave system, funded by employees themselves, protects both workers and their employers – it’s not mutually exclusive. Nobody deserves to be ruined financially when they can’t work because they have a sick family member or a new baby.”
Senator Julie Kushner, co-chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee said, “A paid family and medical leave program will prove to be one of the greatest successes of our state legislature. Everyone – Democrat, Republican, or unaffiliated voter – has had to take care of a family member with a serious illness or has welcomed a new baby into the world. This program will cover all workers, provide a good wage replacement, and contain an inclusive definition of family. Now, working people will not have to choose between a paycheck and taking care of a family member. Connecticut will be an even better place to live, work, and raise a family.”
Representative Robyn Porter, co-chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee, said, “The fact is that most working families do not have access to paid leave, and the reality is that people of color are disproportionately impacted by a lack of paid leave. No one should have to choose between their family and a paycheck, and this will also help employers attract and retain talented workers.”