All Bills We Are Following, Family Friendly Legislation, Immediate Action, Invitation

HB 628 Establishes a System of Paid Family and Medical Leave insurance.

Our Family Friendly Legislation desk wants us to support to this bill.  This is a bill we have been working on since last year.  They need our need help now!  Here are two things to do.  Most importantly call Dan Innis,  we were at meeting that we swore that this bill was important to him and he was going to buck his senator colleagues!  At the same meeting, business owners large and small pleaded for this bill, to help them recruit hard to find workers.

The Senate Finance committee voted along party line this week to have an “interim study” on the bill. This is code for “we don’t want to work on this and we should kill this quietly”. Senator Innis isn’t on the Finance Committee but will still have a chance to work on his amendment and vote on the bill next week when it reaches the floor. 

Could you call Dan Innis and tell him to keep working on this?  Please read script and fact sheet that includes Innis’ contact information. His cell phone is the best number to reach him. We want to inundate him with calls so that he feels the pressure to keep working on the amendment he promised us in the meeting.

The House worked on this bill for 14 months, and the Senate is expected to work on this for only a couple of weeks. They need to hear from the large majority of Granite Staters who support a family and medical leave insurance program. PLEASE CALL TODAY!

Script suggestions:

  1. Name, organization/constituency
  2. Why you think people in NH should have access to paid leave
    1. 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!
  3. Ask the senator if they will be supporting House Bill 628
    1. Senator Innis told us that he supports the concept but would work on an amendment to fix the financing. TELL HIM TO CONTINUE TO WORK ON THIS AMENDMENT AND NOT LET THIS BILL DIE!
  4. Encourage him to have an open mind as they dig into reviewing the legislation

Please call through this list ASAP, and send us back notes on how the calls go. Feel free to leave him a brief voicemail urging him to call back.

Senator Dan Innis, Home: 603-373-0577; Cell: 603-285-1150; Office: 603-271-3077

Greenland, Hampton, Hampton Falls, Kensington, New Castle, Newton, North Hampton, Rye, Seabrook, South Hampton, Stratha

Case making talking points:

  • New Hampshire needs a strong workforce to keep our economy growing. Caregiving duties are one of the biggest barriers keeping qualified workers out of our labor market.
  • Access to paid family and medical leave:
    1. Helps aging workers stay in the workforce longer,
    2. Increases the odds of success for working people recovering from substance use disorder. Financial costs associated with losing income are one of the most common reasons that people struggling with addiction are unable to access available services,
    3. Leads to higher workforce participation among new parents,
    4. Helps level the playing field for small businesses and their employees.
  • There is wide bi-partisan support for this program
    1. 82% of New Hampshire residents support establishment of a family and medical leave insurance program
    2. Over 100 New Hampshire businesses have signed a letter of support for HB628
    3. 90% of employers in states with similar programs reported a “positive effect” or “no noticeable effect” on productivity, performance, and profitability.
  • House Bill 628 is NH specific, proactive policy that would support families in our state to take the time they need and be able to return to the workforce.

There are a few incorrect/misleading 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).

The bill would set up a program that wouldn’t be sustainable- There has been an actuarial analysis done for the state as part of a Department of Labor funded grant NH received, 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 $50million 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.

In addition, here’s a chance to go support the bill in person.

What: Press Conference for Family Leave

When: Wednesday, April 25th 9:45am

Where: Legislative Office Building Lobby

33 N State Street, Concord NH

RSVP HERE!

Thanks so much,

Mary Ann and Christine

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