On Tuesday Connecticut became the eighth state (including D.C.) to pass and enact a paid family and medical leave program when Governor Ned Lamont signed the Paid Family and Medical Leave bill into law.
Today was a win for family leave advocates in Connecticut, as it's been a long road to getting this bill passed. At one point it was even suggested that Lamont would veto the bill, but in the end, lawmakers came to a consensus that it is in the best interest of parents, babies and basically everyone in Connecticut.
"We all agreed on the need to pass this landmark support for working families so they don't have to choose between the job they need and the family they love, or their own health," Lamont said earlier this month.
On Tuesday, he spoke again about how this was a victory for lawmakers and workers.
"Adopting this program means that workers who need to take time off for a new baby or recover from illness are not punished financially, and businesses do not risk losing good workers during those emergencies," he said.
Connecticut's plan is widely regarded as the most generous in the United States because workers will get 12 paid weeks of work to take care of a new baby, sick family member or take care of themselves. The benefits cover 95% of lower wage earner's pay, up to $900 a week.
Oh, and anyone experiencing complications from pregnancy can take an extra two weeks of paid leave to recover from that.
Workers in the state will be able to start collecting these benefits in 2021 and the plan is funded through a 0.5% payroll tax, much like what other states and countries do.
In a statement to Motherly, Catherine Bailey the Deputy Director or Campaign for Paid Family Leave at Connecticut Women's Education and Legal Fund explained the campaign (a coalition of more than 75 organizations that has fought for paid family and medical leave) applauds the paid family and medical leave plan.
"Paid leave is a critical step forward for women's economic security, especially for low-wage workers and women of color who are an increasing number of primary breadwinners to their families."
She believes the plan will "provide economic stability when women and families need it most - when they need to care for themselves or a loved one, or welcome a new child."
Good job, Connecticut.
[Correction: A previous version of this post said 12 weeks is 4 months, it's not quite 3 months. We regret the error.]
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