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Family leave: Numbers just don't add up

EDITORIAL
March 19. 2018 8:31PM




The House Finance Committee is at it again, this time rewriting a family leave bill from scratch.

Dave Solomon reported in his State House Dome column on Sunday that Finance has completely overhauled SB 193, the school choice bill, as well as HB 628, which would set up a paid family medical leave system for New Hampshire’s private sector employees.

Finance is supposed to handle the dollars and cents, not meddle in policy decisions of the full House. But when it comes to family medical leave, the dollars just don’t make sense.

The full House has already had to pare back HB 628 because the system envisioned in the original bill would have quickly gone bankrupt. The Finance Committee rewrote it a second time, replacing the state system with a mandate for a short-term disability insurance program. And when have insurance mandates ever backfired?

HB 628 still represents a state government solution to a private sector problem. Employee leave policies should be left for businesses and workers to negotiate.

If the finances behind HB 628 don’t work, and they don’t, Finance should have recommended that the House kill the bill. Instead, it replaced the bill with a completely new system that lawmakers will not have time to study before casting their votes on the unvetted proposal this week.

The House should scrap HB 628. The numbers simply don’t add up.


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