Scott pushes to move ahead with voluntary paid family leave

Published: Feb. 6, 2020 at 5:55 PM EST
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Governor Phil Scott says he's ready to move forward with his version of a voluntary paid family leave plan in the wake of the House's failure to override his veto of Democrats' plan Wednesday.

In the hours leading up to the razor thin vote, Scott says his staff met with key lawmakers, including Representatives Peter Reed, I-Orange, and Charen Fergard, D-Franklin, to find out how they would vote. He says it's a fairly normal process to know where lawmakers stand on the issues to see if they'll change their vote.

"In the case of Representative Reed, for instance, it was just a recent appointment -- to make sure he understood the process and what this meant in some respects. He had voted in favor, I believe, so it was just trying to make sure he understood what this meant to the whole process," Scott said.

House lawmakers Thursday could have reconsidered and voted on the issue again but they adjourned without taking a vote. House Speaker Mitzi Johnson says paid family leave is still one of their top policy priorities going forward and has called the governor's plan weak.

Scott says the state is still seeking proposals from companies to administer his voluntary plan, but they expect the it to cost less than $300 a year for employees. Employers can also help pick up the cost or offer it as a benefit.