We need to show Sen. Innis how much public support there is family and medical leave as implemented in HB 628. The Finance Committee (Sen. Innis is not a member) will hold a hearing on the bill on April 5 and then the bill could be voted on by the committee and go to the floor at any time.
The goal is to talk directly with Sen. Innis. (Here is his contact info.) If you need to leave a message, please follow up with a short email seeking to engage him, ending by asking him what he thinks. Be sure to tell him:
- Your name and town
- That you are calling about House Bill 628, the paid family and medical leave bill
- Why you think people in NH should have access to paid leave
- Add a personal story about a time you or a loved one could have used access to paid leave. Success stories about access to leave are great too!
- Ask if he will be supporting the bill.
- Try to engage him about what he does and doesn’t like about the bill
- Encourage him to have an open mind as they dig into reviewing the legislation
There are a few incorrect or mislead things we’re hearing from Republican Senators –
This is an Income Tax- No, this is a premium payment for a specific insurance product, it is also voluntary since people can opt out of participation altogether, taxes are not. Participation (ie. payment of premiums) is not a condition of employment.
Government Doesn’t Need to Get Involved (insurance companies could do this)- Insurance companies do not currently offer a comparable benefit in NH, the private market has done nothing meaningful to provide wage replacement for family leave to take care of parents, children or other relatives. That is why this program is needed. Setting this up to be administered alongside the unemployment insurance system is an efficient way to ensure all employees in NH have access to this benefit (which is just like unemployment insurance a temporary wage replacement when
The bill would set up a program that wouldn’t be sustainable- There has been an actuarial analysis done for the state, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor, and as changes have been made to the bill new modeling has been done all along the way showing the solvency of this program even if a majority of the workforce opted out and even if we have higher than predicted use of the benefit.
This would cost the state $50 million just to start up and would require dozens of new state employees– The program needs a short term loan from the state of $16 million to get started, that would be repaid by premiums as soon as the program starts so it would be entirely funded (all start up and ongoing administrative costs of state employees, etc) by premiums paid by those participating in the program.