Legislative Update: Family Leave Bill Filed, Minimum Wage Hearings

Family and Medical Leave Insurance

Representatives Matt Trieber (D-Bellows Falls), Sam Young (D-Glover), and Sarah Copeland Hanzas filed a bill for introduction that would create a statewide family and medical leave insurance program for all working Vermonters. The bill has tripartisan support and more than 40 cosponsors. The proposal would give Vermonters up to 12 weeks of paid, job-protected leave to welcome a new child or care for a seriously ill loved one or themselves.

MSA-VT member Carrie Simmons, Owner of New Ground Creative in Brattleboro, spoke about the support this program would provide to Vermont small businesses in attracting and retaining employees.


Health Care

The RAND Corporation was in the State House this week giving testimony about a study on the implications of expanding Vermont’s Dr. Dynasaur health insurance program for children to all Vermonters from birth to age 26. Main Street Alliance of Vermont is working on an analysis of this study, which we will share once it is completed.


Minimum Wage

The House Committee on General, Housing, and Military Affairs began taking testimony on two bills that have been introduced to raise the minimum wage. The bills differ slightly in timeline. One would raise the wage to $15/hr by 2020 and the other would raise it to $15/hr by 2022.


Other Issues

Safe Consumption

Representatives Selene Colburn (P-Burlington) and Barbara Rachelson (D-Burlington) introduced H.108, which would allow non-profit organizations to set up facilities where injection drug users can safely consume drugs without fear of criminal prosecution. This concept is common across the world, and aligns with the concepts of keeping people alive until they are ready and have access to treatment to help them with their drug addiction.  

There were 100 overdose deaths in VT last year, and needles are being deposited in businesses, parks, beaches etc. Similar programs that exist around the world are intended to improve public safety. 


In our weekly updates, we strive to keep you informed about issues of interest to small businesses in Vermont. While not all of the issues are part of MSA-VT’s policy platform, the voice of small business matters in Montpelier and we are here to connect you to the process. Please let us know if you would like to be more involved or to share your opinion.

Please weigh in on MSA-VT's 2017 Legislative Platform, by updating your 2017 membership today.


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