Around New England

Vermont Senate Approves Paid Family Leave

January 20, 2020

Paid family leave and an increased payroll tax are one step closer to reality in Vermont.

The Vermont Senate recently voted 20-9 on a piece of legislation (H.107) that would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave for the birth of a child or the adoption of one, according to the Associated Press. The bill would be funded with a 0.2% payroll tax increase on most of the state’s workers.

During the family leave, the average worker is respected to receive about 70% of the worker’s normal salary.

Vermont’s House of Representatives passed the same bill 92-52 in April 2019.

Vermont Governor Phil Scott, a Republican, has not commented on the bill publicly. But as The Associated Press reports, Scott has previously stated that he would prefer paid family leave to be done voluntarily, allowing individuals to opt into a program.

Currently, Vermont has the lowest birth rate of any of the 50 states. According to VTDigger, the rate is 47.7 births per 1,000 women aged 15 to 44 — far below the nation’s average of 59.0.

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