Paid Family Leave

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More than halfway into his second term, Gov. Phil Scott enjoys widespread popularity and a huge advantage over his potential Democratic rivals. And Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders appears poised to coast to victory in his home state's presidential primary.

These are two of the big takeaways from a new VPR - Vermont PBS poll released Tuesday.

People sitting at round desks on a red-carpeted floor.
Elodie Reed / VPR File

House lawmakers failed to override Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of their paid family and medical leave bill Wednesday after four Democrats broke ranks with party leadership by voting to sustain the Republican governor.

Gov. Phil Scott at a podium.
Peter Hirschfeld / VPR

Gov. Phil Scott has vetoed legislation that would have created a paid family and medical leave program for workers across Vermont, but Democratic lawmakers say they'll attempt to override the Republican governor as soon as next week. 

Democratic leaders in the House of Representatives will need to find at least eight more votes for their paid family leave bill if they hope to override an expected veto by Gov. Phil Scott.
Matthew Smith / VPR file

The Vermont Legislature has given final approval to legislation that would create a statewide paid family leave program, but its passage into law remains uncertain.

Looking down on the empty Vermont Senate chamber, with papers at desks
Elodie Reed / VPR

The Vermont Senate approved paid family leave legislation Friday by enough votes to override an expected veto by Gov. Phil Scott.

Tucked inside a must-pass defense bill expected to make its way through the Republican-controlled Senate next week is a sweeping policy change: 12 weeks of paid parental leave for all 2.1 million federal employees.

It's not a surprise that Carolyn Maloney, a Democratic congresswoman from New York, would be celebrating the move. She's been working to get it passed for two decades, after her own experience in the workplace.

Close headshot of Governor Phil Scott
Rick Bowmer / Associated Press File

In a move that could recast the partisan political debate over paid family and medical leave in Vermont, the Scott administration has inked a two-year contract with the state workers union that will create an unprecedented paid leave benefit for 8,500 state employees.

The golden dome of the Vermont Statehouse against blue sky.
Ric Cengeri / VPR File

Democratic House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says the passage of a mandatory paid family leave bill will be a top priority in Vermont's 2020 legislative session, but Republican Gov. Phil Scott opposes the Democrats' approach to this issue.

A man stands in a court room.
James Patterson / Valley News

In an ideal world, Windsor County State’s Attorney David Cahill says, the reason for his resignation wouldn’t be news.

The Vermont Statehouse with lawmakers seated
Oliver Parini / For VPR, File

The failure of Democratic leaders at the Statehouse to pass legislation raising the state minimum wage and paid family leave is causing a serious split between Progressives and Democrats. This rift could mean that more Progressives and Democrats will run against each other in House races in 2020.

A view inside the Vermont statehouse.
Toby Talbot / AP

After winning supermajorities in both chambers of the Vermont Legislature last fall, House and Senate Democrats have failed to deliver on the two issues that many voters in their party elected them to pass.

The empty Vermont Senate chamber
Oliver Parini / For VPR, File

By a vote of 19 to 10, the Vermont Senate has given preliminary approval to a scaled back Paid Family Leave bill, but the future of the bill this session remains very much in doubt.

The Vermont House and Senate have devoted a lot of time lately to two bills in particular — paid family and medical leave, and a $15 minimum wage — but both are running into some legislative obstacles.

VPR Statehouse reporter Peter Hirschfeld provided an update on where things stand with these bills as of midday Monday.

Paid family leave programs provide a percentage of salary and job protection for those taking time off to care for a newborn, a family member or loved one.
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Last year Governor Phil Scott vetoed a paid family leave bill. This year, Scott and New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu have unveiled a voluntary plan that would involve state employees from both states. The Legislature has also made the issue a priority for this term.

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott at a podium with New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, flanked by signs that laid out their paid family leave proposal.
Robert Garrova / NHPR

Vermont Gov. Phil Scott and New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu have announced plans to create a bi-state voluntary paid family leave program. Scott said the proposal will help attract new workers to both states without the need to implement a state-mandated program.

The Vermont House has approved a bill that would make all employees eligible for six weeks of paid leave at 80 percent of their salary.

House Speaker Mitzi Johnson and Senate President Tim Ashe have a plan to avoid a government shutdown on July 1st if lawmakers are still at an impasse with Governor Phil Scott over property tax rates
Meg Malone / VPR File

Legislation creating paid family leave in Vermont has gotten a big boost at the Statehouse, as the head of the Senate Committee on Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs says the proposal is a top priority for the panel.

However, the outlook for the bill is still uncertain because Gov. Phil Scott opposes the legislation.

According to campaign finance disclosures, Republican Gov. Phil Scott has raised more than twice as much money toward his 2018 reelection bid than any of the other four candidates challenging him for the office.
Angela Evancie / VPR file

In his second year in office, Gov. Phil Scott has called for limited spending and shared his change of heart on gun control laws. We're talking with the Governor about the surprises and changing priorities in Montpelier in 2018, and what he wants to accomplish in the rest of the legislative session.

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Poplasen / iStock

Four states – California, Rhode Island, New Jersey and New York – have approved state-run paid family and medical leave programs. Vermont currently has bills in both the House and Senate that would legislate it here.