Poll says overwhelming support for ‘Paid Family & Medical Leave’

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Denitra Pearson of New Haven brought her 7-week-old baby Jay’Nitra to the State Capitol on Tuesday to make the point that working people like her, a personal health care aide, sometimes need some form of “Paid Family and Medical Leave” for themselves.

“I took six weeks unpaid to recover from childbirth. My client just told me she had to let me go, so now, I need to find a new client, and soon, in order to support my family,” said Pearson.

She was at an event organized by a coalition of groups pushing for Paid Family and Medical Leave that released a public opinion survey that concluded that 88 percent of Connecticut residents are in favor of the idea and said it will make Connecticut more competitive with surrounding states. 

The pollster, Brittany Stalsburg of BLS Research, said, “Voters of all political parties support ‘Paid Family Leave.’ It’s truly a bipartisan issue.”

And on Tuesday, Governor Ned Lamont reiterated his full support for the ‘Paid Family & Medical Leave’ plan and said he’ll do it in a fiscally responsible way.

Related Content: Lamont on paid family leave

He added, “We’re going to pass paid family leave. I’m going to work my heart out to make sure that that gets done.”

But the National Federation of Independent Business said small businesses would face difficult hardship if one of their employees was out for up to 12 weeks. 

And the largest business organization in Connecticut continues to vigorously oppose the bill. 

Eric Gjede of the Connecticut Business and Industry Association said, “This family leave program is going to result in people having less take home pay because this is a brand new payroll tax, most people don’t realize that.”

The payroll tax would be 0.5 percent, in other words, one half of one percent of your pay.

On a $50,000 a year income, the tax would be $250.

The state would pay to administer the program.

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