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Paid Family Medical Leave bill advances to Conn. Senate

The state legislature's Appropriations Committee has approved a bill creating a Paid Family and Medical Leave program, with .5 percent of paychecks going into a state-run trust fund.  Employees would be able to use up to 12 weeks of leave to care for a new baby or an ill family member. 

The measure was passed 26-17 and sent to the Senate. 

Danbury Senator Julie Kushner says the program details are still being negotiated, but the one approved in committee was also passed by the Labor and the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committees.  $20-million in bonding over the next two years would be seed money, but Kushner says the program would then pay for itself through contributions from employees.  She notes that the bond money would be paid back in future years. 

Opponents say they're not against the idea of Paid Leave, but not in favor of what they say amounts to a payroll tax.

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