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In Connecticut, Paid Family Leave Bill Passes Committee

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In Connecticut a paid family and medical leave bill made it through a key state legislative committee on Thursday.

Connecticut has long had a law that allows employees to take unpaid time off for family and medical reasons. Democratic State Senator Cathy Osten of Norwich urged her colleagues on the Labor and Public Employees Committee to support the bill because it takes the family leave concept a step further.

“A woman or a man or a family member, however you define that, is allowed today to take time off. They just can’t get paid for it. So this is a paying mechanism.”

Opponents, including Republican State Representative Mike Bocchino of Greenwich argued that the bill would be another state mandate that would be bad for business.

“Economically, it’s a difficult thing to do to business. It’s very costly.”

The bill passed by a vote of eight to five.

It would create a state-run family and medical leave compensation program funded by a .54 percent payroll deduction. The program would offer up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave compensation to covered employees during any 12-month period.

As WSHU Public Radio’s award-winning senior political reporter, Ebong Udoma draws on his extensive tenure to delve deep into state politics during a major election year.