Gov. Phil Scott says voluntary family leave will give most workers what they want and will cost taxpayers very little. House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says the Legislature needs to do more to help working families, to improve quality of life and grow the state economy. Who’s right?
"For Johnson, there are few issues on her agenda that are as important as paid family leave.
"I think a program that helps employees balance their work responsibilities and their family life is very important," said Johnson. "We need a better system for how to take care of families. If we want Vermont to work for families, we need policies that support families."
The major issue in this debate is whether the plan should be voluntary or mandatory. Scott thinks a paid family leave plan would help attract more young families to Vermont, but he wants it to be voluntary.
"A paid family leave program would be helpful to Vermonters," Scott said recently on Vermont Edition. "I just think it should be voluntary, and I don't believe that we should have a payroll tax that would cost Vermonters $25 [million] to $80 million a year in order to do it."
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