Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy

Family and Medical Leave Insurance Hearing

Strong showing of support before Senate Finance Committee

Concord, N.H. – The New Hampshire Senate Finance Committee today heard testimony from dozens of supporters urging the passage of HB 628, a bi-partisan proposal to enact a family and medical leave insurance program in the state. The bill, having passed the House in three separate votes is now before the committee for consideration.

“We continue to hear from hardworking families across the state who want to see this critical program enacted in New Hampshire,” said Amanda Sears, Director of the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy. “This is no surprise considering two-thirds of New Hampshire workers lack paid leave to cover the care of themselves, a newborn or a family member. People understand that enabling workers to take the time they need without losing their livelihood will strengthen businesses, families and the economy. Now they just need their elected lawmakers to listen and act.”

Despite efforts from Republican Leadership in the House to kill the bill, a bi-partisan majority of house members voted to pass the program. “It was refreshing to see lawmakers in the House prioritize constituent demands over politics. The program numbers line up and the timing is ripe,” said Sears. “New Hampshire has a real opportunity to pass a solid policy that will have a tangible impact on improving the quality of life in our state, as well as the economy. With more and more workers forced to drop out of our workforce to meet caregiving demands, a policy like this would really help our state’s workforce shortage.”

Senate Finance Committee members heard testimony from a wide range of supporters, including Val Zanchuk, President of Graphicast who joined a list of over 100 businesses in support of the policy and submitted written testimony to the committee. “Today’s economy, with many two-income families, a deepening opioid addiction crisis affecting families, increasing responsibility for care of aging parents, an aging workforce, and other stresses makes family leave a more common need. Having insurance for this would be a comfort for most of our employees. It would diminish the risk of employees leaving the workforce to care for family issues…A paid leave program in New Hampshire would be a workforce driver for the state. It would help New Hampshire compete with our surrounding states for the skilled employees who will be such an important factor in our future workforce. It will attract younger workers with families and help retain aging workers in the workforce longer. Keeping more people in the workforce has economic value, not just to the individuals, but to the state as well, as these workers are also sources of tax revenue for the state.”

April 5, 2018

Contact: Amanda Sears

amanda@familyfriendlyeconomy.org

603-867-4433