As Legislative Debate on [Vermont] Paid Family Leave Looms, Report Says Cost could Hit $79 Million (January 6, 2017)

By Peter Hirschfeld, Vermont Public Radio

A proposal to make Vermont the fifth state in the country to ensure paid family and medical leave for all employees in the state could come with price tag of as much as $79 million, according a report released this week by the Vermont Commission on Women. And while the program won’t come cheap, supporters say the benefits outweigh the cost.

Lindsay Deslauriers, Vermont director of Main Street Alliance, a coalition of left-leaning business owners, says most small-business owners would love to provide employees with paid family leave. The reality, she says, is that they simply cannot afford it.

“With a statewide family and medical leave insurance program, Vermont has an opportunity to build economies of scale that are going to help our small businesses be more competitive employers, and be able to participate in a program like this,” Deslauriers says.

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