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.
Already, Democratic State Rep Mary Stuart Gile and her colleagues in the Senate have introduced drafts of a bill to create a paid family and medical insurance pool managed by the state of NH. Their legislation is modeled on existing laws in Rhode Island, New Jersey, and California. Gile says, lessons from today's conference will determine many of the details of the bills.
Gile had brought a pile of printouts to the conference outlining 16 years of failed efforts to pass similar legislation. This year, however, lawmakers have data from a recent Granite State Poll.
During the conference, UNH researcher Kristin Smith revealed new data showing half of all Granite Staters lack access to paid parental leave. Another recent report by Smith showed 82 percent of Granite Staters support paid family and medical leave insurance.