Maine is one step closer to creating a statewide Paid Family and Medical Leave program.
On June 3 and 7, respectively, the State Senate and House passed LD 1559, “Resolve, To Create the Commission To Develop a Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Program." The bill, introduced by Assistant Senate Majority Leader Mattie Daughtry of Brunswick, would establish a commission to create a plan for implementing a paid family and medical leave program in Maine after studying similar programs in other states and soliciting public comment from experts and impacted parties, including veterans, parents, and small business owners. If passed, Maine would join nine other states and the District of Columbia in providing paid family and medical leave.
Each and every one of us will face a time when we or our loved ones get sick, when a family member needs our help, or when we need to prioritize our families over our jobs, such as the birth or adoption of a new child. For far too many, this leads to an impossible choice – to take unpaid time off to care for themselves or their loved ones, or to continue to work so they can pay their rent and put food on the table. This is a crisis that has only worsened with the COVID-19 pandemic.
Paid Family and Medical Leave represent a vital service for Maine’s working families. A statewide Paid Family & Medical Leave policy would give our working families the security to take care of themselves and their families when they’re ill, without risking the income they need to survive. Mainers for Working Families applauds Senator Daughtry for introducing this critical legislation.