The Governor’s veto of the Paid Family and Medical Leave bill was upheld in the House by a margin of only one vote.  Hummmm,  close one.  

In my discussions with Franklin County residents, few seemed to be willing to bear the burden of another tax, especially since so many would never use the benefit. Apparently other counties had stronger support.  

The Governor has his own idea of how to pay for this benefit.  It’s a good plan funded with what he calls ‘a voluntary tax’ paid only by those who sign up for the leave insurance. Only those who want the insurance protection would pay for it. This is a good idea, and should be considered by the legislature. I’ve heard there is concern about not being able to generate enough revenue to pay for all those who will want time off, but there could be a limit based on the amount of money in the fund. If the money isn’t there, the beneficiary doesn’t get paid.

Rehashing the bill that was just vetoed is not a good idea, and will not be allowed anyway until next year.

A fairer funding source is this voluntary proposal Gov. Scott is promoting. It appears to work like a fee. With a few exceptions written in statute, fees are paid only by those who use the service and what they pay goes into a special fund used for only that service.  So other Vermonters who do not use the service do not have to pay for it.

It would be a good compromise. 

I’ll keep an eye on the discussions.  

Carolyn Branagan


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