News & Event
Published in The Day on December 03, 2018
By Margaret M. O'Shea and Carol J. Williams
In a Nov. 25th “Redprint,” Red Jahncke argues that Republicans should fight any proposal for paid medical and family leave because the state and its employers cannot afford it. However, we believe that paid leave is a critical part of the solution to Connecticut’s economic woes.
The paid medical and family leave bill proposed in Connecticut is self-funded and does not require an annual appropriation. Nor does it require employer funding. The proposed model requires employees to contribute a small premium to a paid leave pool. This model is working well in other states and was shown to be sustainable in Connecticut by an actuarial analysis commissioned by the legislature in 2015. Similar paid family leave programs in New Jersey and California remained intact during the recession and have experienced surpluses in recent years.
Everyone agrees that Connecticut’s workforce is aging rapidly and young people, especially those with college degrees, are leaving our state. Soon Connecticut will not have enough trained workers. How can paid family leave help?
Connecticut is now surrounded by states that have paid family leave (New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and New Jersey). To remain competitive and stop the Connecticut “brain drain,” we need to pass paid leave in 2019.
Margaret M. O'Shea, Ph.D., of Old Lyme, is a retired professor at University of Saint Joseph. Carol J. Williams, Ph.D., of Willimantic, is a retired associate dean of continuing education at Eastern Connecticut State University. They co-chair the Women and Girls Fund Task Force on Public Policy of the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut.
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