Family Medical Leave Is The Top Priority

February 22, 2017

Rep. Matthew Lesser joined his Democratic colleagues and dozens of workers and their advocates at a press conference to show their support for legislation that provides for some time off from work so employees can care for sick family members. They also gathered to promote a bill that would increase the minimum wage.

“The family medical leave bill is the most important legislation the General Assembly will consider this year,” Lesser, a co-sponsor of the legislation, told reporters.

“With this legislation, we have an opportunity to make a really meaningful impact on the lives of people around the state, and I am thrilled to join Senator Martin Looney in taking a leadership role on this bill. I’m sure that when businesses take a close look at the details of this issue, they’ll see there’s no conflict between being pro-family and pro-business. In fact, economists believe that when we help families by boosting their earning power, we in turn help the economy grow. Slow wage growth has hurt the economy, and this is legislation will help families and spur economic growth,” Lesser said.

“Requiring a sufficient minimum wage in the State of Connecticut is not a luxury,” said Looney, a co-sponsor of the $15 an hour minimum wage bill, SB 13, and the Paid Family and Medical Leave bill, SB 1. “It is a critically important issue for thousands upon thousands of Connecticut families. For parents trying to make ends meet, for single moms working two or three jobs just to provide basic necessities for their children, there may be no more important, pressing issue than earning a fair, adequate and ‘livable’ wage,” he said.

“The inability of employees to take paid time off to care for loved ones or themselves can leave them with no choice but to abandon family members in their time of need, or to neglect their own health,” Senator Looney continued. “Working families should not have to face the prospect of economic ruin when presented with serious family needs such as caring for a newborn, a spouse, or their parents.”