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The Latest: Paid leave clears Senate despite veto threat

May 23, 2019

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — The Latest on paid family medical leave vote (all times local):

8:20 p.m.

The Democratic-controlled Connecticut Senate has advanced legislation creating a paid family medical leave insurance program, despite a veto threat from Democratic Gov. Ned Lamont.

The bill passed 21-15 Wednesday and now awaits action in the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives.

Under the legislation, most Connecticut workers would be charged a 0.5% payroll tax to finance the program. Eligible individuals would receive partial wage coverage while they take up to 12 weeks off from work to care for themselves during a serious illness, a loved one or a newborn.

Lamont criticized the bill for including a “top heavy” governing body, which he says could threaten the success of the $400 million initiative.

Democratic lawmakers say they’re hopeful Lamont will ultimately sign the bill. Republicans vow to prevent an override of Lamont’s veto.

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1:30 p.m.

Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont says he’ll veto a proposal creating a paid family medical leave program, saying the current version of the bill is too “top heavy” with bureaucracy and requires further negotiations.

The Democrat said Wednesday he was surprised to hear the Democratic-controlled Senate was considering voting on the bill in its current form. Senate Democratic leaders say they plan to move forward with the vote on Wednesday.

Lamont is not ruling out a vote on a revised bill in a special session. He has already called for a special session vote on electronic highway tolls.

Under the bill, FML benefits would be funded through a 0.5 percent payroll tax on every Connecticut employee. Individuals could use the money to take up to 12 weeks off from work to care for a loved one or newborn.

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