Connecticut House sends nation's most generous family leave policy to governor

Connecticut House sends nation's most generous family leave policy to governor
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Connecticut lawmakers reportedly sent what would be the nation’s most generous family leave policy to Gov. Ned Lamont’s (D) desk over the weekend.

Connecticut’s House of Representatives passed the measure, 79-69, Friday. The bill, which had already been approved by the state Senate, would give workers 12 weeks off to care for a newborn baby or deal with a serious illness beginning in 2021, HuffPost reported


It would cover 95 percent of low-wage workers’ pay, up to $900 a week, making it the most generous wage-replacement policy of any state. New York, by comparison, offers 55 percent wage replacement, which will increase to 67 percent, up to a cap, once the policy is fully phased in.

The Connecticut policy also has one of the broadest definitions of a loved one covered under the policy, including care of siblings, grandparents, and any other blood relative or “equivalent of a family member.”

Lamont has said he will sign the bill into law.

“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,” he said in a statement Friday.

Paid family leave has become a key political issue, with every Democratic candidate in Congress signing on to Sen .Kirsten GillibrandKirsten GillibrandOvernight Defense & National Security — Biden: US troops to Ukraine 'not on the table' Gillibrand slams committee leadership, Pentagon for military justice reform cuts Lawmakers reach compromise on annual defense policy bill MORE’s (D-N.Y.) Family Act, which would fund paid family leave for parents and caregivers through a  payroll tax.

Advocates said every state-level advance on family leave creates national attention around the issue.

“Anytime a state passes a new paid family and medical leave policy it illustrates the momentum that’s behind the issue and further puts pressure on legislators and people seeking to become the next president to elevate the issue,” Vicki Shabo, a paid leave expert at left-leaning think tank New America, told Huff Post.

--This report was updated at 4:00 p.m.