Just about everyone agrees we need a strong family and medical leave insurance program in Vermont. Other states have it and we should, too.

If you have ever been in the position of needing time off to take care of your mother, father or sibling when they really needed you, then you know how important this time is, or maybe the birth of your child when the time after birth is so crucial for the parent and for child development. But not many people can afford to do that without receiving their salary.

There are many reasons for supporting the Legislature’s family and medical leave proposal. It would help build a stronger small business economy and a healthy workforce. There is lots of talk about the need to attract and keep young people in Vermont. This would certainly do that. It would level the playing field for small businesses.

But those are the greater-good-for-Vermont reasons.

What I am really concerned with here is personal. If your mother has had a fall or your daughter has been injured, you want to be there — not at work worrying about what’s happening or whether there will be enough money. Or, if we had Gov. Scott’s opt-in plan, did I sign up? I should have signed up. Why didn’t I sign up?

In the end, this is personal: for me, when my cousin needed to be there for her mother and when I may need to be there for someone who is precious to me.

I support the Legislature’s universal family and medical leave insurance program. I hope you will, too.

Bill Kuch


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