Maine Legislature Approves PFML, Governor Expected to Take Action on Bill Soon
Last week, the Committee To Develop a Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Program approved a new version of LD 1964: the bill that would create a PFML program in Maine. The original proposal, which was voted out of commission last month, underwent additional revisions following concerns from business groups.
Committee members went back and worked on the bill before it was presented to the Senate and House this week. Now we are happy to report that legislators in both chambers have voted to pass LD1964 and bring PFML to Maine.
Some highlights from the amended bill include:
12-weeks of paid leave to tend to a sick or dying loved one, bond with/care for a newborn, or recover from one’s own health challenges.
Employees on leave receive a portion of their normal wage with lower income earners receiving a higher percentage of wage replacement.
To pay for the benefit, employees will contribute less than 0.5 percent of their paycheck. Large employers will also contribute 0.5 percent of their employees wages toward the program. Small businesses owners with fewer employees would not be obliged to contribute to the program; however, those employees would be eligible for the benefit.
Thanks to the persistence of bill sponsors Sen. Mattie Daughtry and Rep. Kristen Cloutier, this proposal has crossed yet another hurdle and will soon be on the Governor’s desk.
The fact remains that no Mainer should have to miss out on a paycheck in order to care for themselves or a sick family member. We applaud the Maine Legislature for passing this vital legislation and look forward to finally seeing PFML in Maine.