A valentine and cupcake campaign for Paid Family Medical Leave

WTNH/Stephanie Simoni

HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — It was a valentine and cupcake campaign at the Legislative Office Building Wednesday. Folks were trying to nab some sweet attention for paid Family Medical Leave.

“We got the news in December and it was quite the shocker,” said West Hartford’s Elizabeth Lane about the moment she found out her son Hendricks was becoming a big brother this July.

“I’m hoping to still take 12 weeks off. It will be unpaid. We’ll have to figure it out. It will be a challenge,” said Lane.

State Representative Matt Lesser says they’re trying to make it less challenging for families who need to take time off for a new baby, a sick family member, or any other medical emergency.

“Many families in this state, they have to choose between caring for their child or being able to afford their mortgage payment or their rent,” said State Rep. Matt Lesser, Middletown (D).

Lesser says as the bill stands now (it could change) every worker state-wide would have a mandatory .5% of their pay go to a state fund. Then, if someone takes Family Medical Leave they could get up $1,000 for 12 weeks.

When asked about some residents distrust in the state when it comes to their money, given the current budget situation, Lesser responded, “Well, look I think this is a program that would really help people. I think when people start to see that they get the benefit, we’ll be able to prove the value of the program.”

Supporters flocked at the Legislative Office Building Wednesday handing out cupcakes and valentines telling lawmakers not to break their hearts. California, New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island have passed similar laws.

“There’s a lot of reasons to move out of Connecticut and having paid Family act will act in the opposite manner,” said Lane.

They’re having a public hearing tomorrow at 2PM at the Legislative Office Building in room 2E and the earliest the legislature could probably vote on this would be in May.

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