Maine Advocates: Paid Family Medical Leave Possible in 2023
Monday, November 28, 2022
Not everybody gets a holiday break, especially caregivers, but advocates of paid family medical leave in Maine say momentum is building for a plan to pass in the upcoming legislative session.
With Democrats in charge at the Statehouse and a ballot initiative which has already gained nearly 70,000 signatures, Mainers could get up to 16 weeks of paid medical leave a year.
Bridget Quinn, associate state director of advocacy and outreach for AARP Maine, said the pandemic exposed the difficulties many Americans face when a medical emergency strikes.
"Caring for a loved one shouldn't mean losing pay and risking your financial security, or even your job," Quinn asserted. "You should be able to do both and care for a loved one, while being able to remain in the workforce."
Maine has the oldest overall population of any state in the U.S. Quinn said by supporting caregivers, more Mainers can age in place and reduce reliance on taxpayer-funded long-term care facilities.
Studies show working women continue to do the majority of caretaking, whether for a new baby, a sick child or elderly parents, providing 20 hours of unpaid care a week, on average. Three-quarters of working mothers with low incomes report losing pay when they miss work to care for family.
Quinn pointed out the lack of a statewide paid leave plan can create greater financial hardships for women down the road, or cause them to simply leave the workforce.
"That can be time that you're not contributing to programs like Social Security, or benefiting from a retirement savings plan that maybe your employer could have," Quinn noted.
If approved, Maine would join 11 states and the District of Columbia offering paid family and medical leave, funded through a combination of employer and employee payroll taxes.
Maine lawmakers approved a bill last year creating a commission to study the issue, which is expected to release its recommendations next month.
Resources AARP Maine 2022
Population data Census Bureau 2022
Study Kaiser Family Foundation 11/16/2022
Women and Caregiving Caregiving.com 03/25/2021
Women caregivers Aging Care 04/19/2022
State laws Nat'l Conference of State Legislatures July 2022
Legislative Document 1559 (2021) 07/22/2021
get more stories like this via email
Lawmakers in the Commonwealth are considering legislation to ensure police use of facial-recognition technology also protects people's privacy and civ…
Next week, Ohio farmers and their advocates head to Washington, D.C., to push for shifting federal programs toward growing nutritious food, as …
Social justice advocates have just launched a new public education campaign. It's called "Just Safe," and it's aimed at changing the conversation …
Reducing the number of wildlife-vehicle collisions is the goal of a bill before the New Mexico Legislature this session. Sen. Mimi Stewart, D-…
A Nevada nonprofit is celebrating a 94% graduation rate among its high school seniors for the 2021-2022 school year. Tami Hance-Lehr. CEO and state …
Super Bowl LVII is right around the corner, which means Arizona will see hefty spending and wide exposure because of the massive sporting event…
Maine's small farmers are encouraged to complete the latest U.S. Department of Agriculture census to ensure they have a voice in federal decisions …
Environmental groups are pleased with an Iowa Utilities Board ruling that requires MidAmerican Energy to make planning studies public for its Iowa Win…