Sen. Daughtry appointed to chair commission to outline Paid Family and Medical Leave policy of Maine
AUGUSTA — Sen. Mattie Daughtry, D-Brunswick, has been appointed to the Commission To Develop a Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Program by Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash. Sen. Daughtry will serve as co-chair of the commission, which was funded through the bipartisan supplemental budget.
“Maine families and workers deserve to be able to take time off to take care of themselves and their loved ones, and Maine businesses deserve a policy that makes sense for them and their employees. The process to create a paid family and medical leave policy has been long, but our discussions have been collaborative, and I truly feel we’re all pulling in the same direction,” said Sen. Daughtry. “This is an issue I’ve been working on since I was first elected to the State House. I’m eager to continue the good work that we’ve already started, and get this plan across the finish line.”
The commission is tasked with developing a plan to implement a paid family and medical leave benefits program by consulting with other states that have established paid family and medical leave benefits programs. The commission will contract for and complete an actuarial study of the planned program including start-up costs and ongoing costs of the program, the economic impact on and benefits to the State and the contributions needed to maintain the solvency of the program. The commission will submit a report of findings and recommendations, including any recommendations for necessary legislation, by Nov. 2, 2022.
Only 15 percent of American workers have access to any sort of paid leave, and less than 60 percent of the workforce has access to unpaid leave under the Family Medical Leave Act. Nationally, one in four women takes fewer than 11 days of parental leave after giving birth despite a recommended six- to eight-week recovery period.
Commission members include legislators; small and large business owners; and experts in labor, family and medical leave policies, hospitality industries, elder care and maternity care. The commission was originally formed in 2021 by LD 1559, “Resolve, To Create the Commission To Develop a Paid Family and Medical Leave Benefits Program,” which Sen. Daughtry sponsored.
Any legislation recommended by the commission will be considered by the 131st Legislature.