At a gubernatorial candidates debate today Governor Sununu referred to family and medical leave as “vacation” and led the audience through a math exercise that demonstrated a lack of understanding about how insurance works.
“Anyone who has taken time out from work to care for a dying parent or a spouse undergoing cancer treatment will tell you family and medical leave is no vacation. Taking time out from work without pay to care for loved ones is undermining the financial security of working families who need a Governor with a plan for making paid family and medical leave a reality.” said Amanda Sears, Director of the Campaign for a Family Friendly Economy.
Each of the three major party candidates for governor were asked if they supported creation of a family and medical leave insurance program at the New Hampshire Gubernatorial Forum on Young Children held today at St. Anselm College. All three candidates indicated conceptual support of the need for paid family and medical leave. Governor Sununu, however, expressed opposition to insurance programs working in other states and failed to provide a different policy proposal.
“It takes more than believing in something to make it a reality. It takes a plan. Voters overwhelmingly support creation of a family and medical leave insurance program, they should be asking Governor Sununu: what’s your plan and how are you going to fund it?” said Amanda Sears following the forum.
A family and medical leave insurance program would operate like unemployment insurance, car insurance, and other insurance programs by creating a risk pool, funded by workers with an estimated premium of about $5 per week.
“The Governors remarks today indicated two things: he is out of touch with the needs of New Hampshire families and he needs a briefing on the basics of insurance. The Governor should get behind a plan that will work to protect the families of New Hampshire when they are caring for themselves or a family member.” said Sears.
Personal stories highlighting the need for family and medical leave insurance can be found in New Hampshire Voices on Paid Family and Medical Leave