Maine legislators held a hearing this week on a bipartisan bill to explore the feasibility of an employee-financed paid family medical leave system. House Majority Leader Erin Herbig (D-Belfast) and Sen. Amy Volk (R-Scarborough) have co-sponsored the bill. Herbig and Volk previously sponsored a bill to establish an employee-financed paid family medical leave system but they are now backing this new bill which would just study how much such a system would cost.
The original paid family medical leave bill that Herbig and Volk sponsored would have financed paid family leave with a maximum 0.5% pay deduction from employees’ pay. It would not have required businesses with fewer than 15 employees to participate but would give them the option to participate if they wanted.
“Creating a paid family leave medical system on the shoulders of our businesses would not benefit anyone. This bill has never proposed to do that,” said Herbig. “There isn’t an easy fix but I’m tired of spinning our wheels when there are small steps we can take to creating a cost-effective, paid family medical leave system in Maine that works for both families and businesses across our state.”