April 13, 2016

AARP: 83% of CT voters support paid family leave

A large majority of registered voters in Connecticut, across the ideological spectrum, support paid family medical leave and a significant portion would back a candidate for state elections who worked to implement such a plan, according to a new survey by AARP Research. One small business group is questioning its cost.

AARP released the poll results to show support for Senate Bill 221, which would create a statewide system of paid family and medical leave for workers needing time off to care for themselves, an ill loved one or a new baby. The system that's being suggested would be fully funded by employees with no employer contribution.

The advocacy group cited research by The Institute for Women's Policy Research that said the cost to Connecticut employees would be very low at just about one-half of 1 percent of someone's income.

"The AARP failed to address the fact that this new, state-run, program would have a significant cost to the state for start-up and administration ... we are already burdened with expensive and poorly run government programs and we certainly do not need to add to the list," said Andrew Markowski, National Federation of Independent Business Connecticut state director.

One-thousand state voters age 25-plus were asked two questions about the paid family medical initiative:

Views on a state plan that gives employees an opportunity to contribute to and utilize a limited amount of paid leave from work to care for themselves or a loved one who is recovering from a serious medical condition:

  • Support: 83 percent or eight out of 10
  • Strongly Support: 65 percent

Views on if they would support a candidate for state elections who worked to implement a paid family leave plan that included working caregivers:

  • Support: 74 percent or more than 7 out of 10
  • Strongly Support: Half of respondents with 50 percent
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