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State Senator

Julie Kushner

Representing Bethel, Danbury, New Fairfield, Sherman

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No Surprise: Sen. Kushner Welcomes Overwhelming Public Support For Creation of Paid Leave in CT

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HARTFORD – Nobody had to tell state Senator Julie Kushner (D-Danbury) that a paid family and medical leave program in Connecticut is a wildly popular public policy idea with state residents – but it was nice to hear anyway.

Sen. Kushner joined paid family leave advocates today at a press conference in Hartford to announce the findings a new poll of Connecticut residents which found that 88 percent of Connecticut voters favor the creation of a paid family leave program in the state, including 78 percent Republicans.

Two-thirds of voters said they would be more likely to support a candidate if he or she supports paid family leave, and 80 percent of voters said creating a paid family leave program in Connecticut would make us more competitive with neighboring states that already offer such paid leave. Only three percent of those surveyed oppose paid leave..

“Today’s poll is a reflection of what I’ve heard throughout my Senate district, which is strong and unwavering support for the creation of a paid family and medical leave program,” said Sen. Kushner, who is Senate Chair of the Labor and Public Employees Committee which passed a paid family and medical leave bill. “There are so many working people and families in our state who could use a paid family and medical leave program right now. We need to make it a priority. If there is just one bill that I would like to see pass this session, it’s paid family and medical leave.”

“Today’s poll confirms that Connecticut voters need and overwhelmingly support paid family and medical leave,” said Catherine Bailey, deputy director of the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal Fund (CWEALF) and chair of the Campaign for Paid Family Leave. “CWEALF is proud to highlight the results of this poll on Equal Pay Day, the symbolic day in 2019 where women’s earnings finally catch up to men’s earnings from the previous year. Connecticut women will not achieve equal pay until we eliminate the financial punishment women face when they need to take time off from work to care for a loved one or welcome a new baby. It’s time for lawmakers, as well as Governor Lamont, to give Connecticut voters what they want: real paid family and medical leave.”

On February 19, the Labor and Public Employee Committee passed the Democrats’ top priority for the 2019 legislative session, Senate Bill 1, which calls for the creation of a Family and Medical Leave insurance program in Connecticut offering up to 12 weeks of paid leave at a maximum of $1,000 per week per employee. The program would be funded by an employee contribution not exceeding one-half of one percent of earnings.

The bill now awaits action by the House and Senate.

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