Roll Call! House Passes Payroll Tax to Fund Paid Family Leave (89-53), 2020

.
.
PASSED
in the State House of Representatives
on January 23, 2020, by a vote of
89-53
.
Purpose: To establish a new payroll tax on employees ($30 million annually) in order to fund a government-mandated Paid Family Leave program allowing employees to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave for the birth of a child, or 8 weeks for family care.
.
Analysis This vote would establish a government-mandated insurance program. The program would be funded by a new employee payroll tax of 0.2%, on income up to $137,000. Employees can elect to pay an additional 0.38% of their wages to obtain medical leave of 6 weeks maximum.
.
While all Vermont employees would have their wages taxed, only employees who work at least 675 hours annually (13 hours a week) for a single employer would be eligible to receive the paid leave or to opt-in to the medical leave. A Vermont wage earner making the median income ($50k/year) would be taxed an additional $100 annually. Employers would have the option to pay some or all of the employee’s 0.2% wage tax.
.
JFO analysis indicates that employees who use the benefit would receive 90% of their weekly wages that are at or below the $13.26/hr Vermont Average Weekly Wage ($27,582/yr). They would get an additional 55% of their weekly wages that exceed the VAWW. For example, a worker making $20/hr ($41,601/yr) who uses the benefit would receive $625 weekly ($477 for their income qualifying as VAWW, plus $148). The maximum benefit would be capped at $1,334 per week.
.
In 2022, Vermonters are estimated to be taxed $30 million to pay for $25 million to Vermonters opting for birth and family leave according to Joint Fiscal Office analysis. In 2023, Vermonters are projected to pay less into the program than is needed to cover the cost: $30.8 million in taxes to fund $30.4 million in benefits, a 1.3% shortfall. The underfunding is projected to continue.
.
So, we can expect the tax (0.2%) and the price (0.38%) to increase in the future, with no hard cap set.
.
Those voting YES believe this program is a desirable benefit that will help retain and attract young families to Vermont. They argue the program must be mandatory or a lack of voluntary participation will drive up premium costs for those who do choose to enter the program. They believe Vermonters who would turn down coverage are too optimistic about their chances to never need coverage. The Legislature needs to override their lapse in judgement and force them to receive what’s in their best interest.
.
Those voting NO did so for many different reasons. Most of those voting “no” believe the bill has already gone too far and believe Vermont cannot afford another tax/entitlement program. Many of these “no” votes favor a bill for creating a program that would give Vermonters the option of paying into a program in order to obtain coverage. They may also fear the tax rates will have to rise to continue coverage.
.
A handful of legislators who voted “no” believe the bill did not go far enough. They hope to include more weeks of leave and mandatory, rather than voluntary, medical leave insurance. They hope to bring these items before another Committee of Conference with the Senate.
.
House Journal, Thursday, January 23, 2020. “Shall the report of Committee of Conference be adopted? was decided in the affirmative. Yeas, 89. Nays, 58.…” (Read the Journal, p. 7-44) 
.

How They Voted

(Click on your Rep’s name to send an email)

Janet Ancel (D – Calais) – YES
Peter Anthony (D – Barre) – YES
Sarita Austin (D – Colchester) – YES
Robert Bancroft (R – Westford) – NO
John Bartholomew (D – Hartland) – YES
Lynn Batchelor (R – Derby) – NO
Christopher Bates (D – Bennington) – NO
Scott Beck (R – St. Johnsbury) – NO
Matthew Birong (D – Vergennes) – YES
Thomas Bock (D – Chester) – YES
Patrick Brennan (R – Colchester) – NO
Timothy Briglin (D – Thetford) – YES
Nelson Brownell (D – Pownal) – YES
Cynthia Browning (D – Arlington) – NO
Jessica Brumsted (D – Shelburne) – YES
Thomas Burditt (R – West Rutland) – NO
Mollie Burke (P – Brattleboro) – YES
Scott Campbell (D – St. Johnsbury) – YES
William Canfield (R – Fair Haven) – NO
James Carroll (D – Bennington) – YES
Seth Chase (D – Colchester) – YES
Robin Chesnut-Tangerman (P – Middletown Springs) – NO
Annmarie Christensen (D – Weathersfield) – YES
Kevin “Coach” Christie (D – Hartford) – ABSENT
Brian Cina (P – Burlington) – NO
Sara Coffey (D – Guilford) – YES
Selene Colburn (P – Burlington) – NO
Hal Colston (D – Winooski) – YES
Peter Conlon (D – Cornwall) – YES
Charles Conquest (D – Newbury) – YES
Sarah Copeland-Hanzas (D – Bradford) – YES
Timothy Corcoran (D – Bennington) – YES
Mari Cordes (D/P – Lincoln) – YES
Lawrence Cupoli (R – Rutland) – NO
Carl Demrow (D – Corinth) – YES
Eileen Dickinson (R – St. Albans) – NO
Kari Dolan (D – Waitsfield) – YES
Anne Donahue (R – Northfield) – NO
Johannah Dovan (D – Burlington) – YES
David Durfee (D – Shaftsbury) – YES
Caleb Elder (D – Starksboro) – YES
Alice Emmons (D – Springfield) – YES
Peter Fagan (R – Rutland) – NO
Charen Fegard (D – Berkshire) – NO
Martha Feltus (R – Lyndon) – NO
Marianna Gamache (R – Swanton) – NO
John Gannon (D – Wilmington) – YES
Marcia Gardner (D – Richmond) – YES
Dylan Giambatista (D – Essex) – YES
Diana Gonzalez (P – Wioski) – NO
Kenneth Goslant (R – Northfield) – NO
Maxine Grad (D – Moretown) – ABSENT
Rodney Graham (R – Williamstown) – NO
James Gregoire (R – Fairfield) – NO
Sandy Haas (P – Rochester) – NO
Lisa Hango (R – Birkshire) – NO
James Harrison (R – Chittenden) – NO
Nader Hashim (D – Dummerston) – YES
Robert Helm (R – Fair Haven) – NO
Mark Higley (R – Lowell) – NO
Matthew Hill (D – Wolcott) – YES
Robert Hooper (D – Burlington) – YES
Philip Hooper (D – Randolph) – YES
Mary Hooper (D – Montpelier) – YES
Lori Houghton (D – Essex) – YES
Mary Howard (D – Rutland) – YES
Kathleen James (D – Manchester) – YES
Stephanie Jerome (D – Brandon) – YES
Kimberly Jessup (D – Middlesex) – YES
Mitzi Johnson (D – Grand Isle) – PRESIDING
John Killacky (D – S. Burlington) – YES
Charles Kimbell (D – Woodstock) – YES
Warren Kitzmiller (D – Montpelier) – YES
Emilie Kornheiser (D – Brattleboro) – YES

Jill Krowinski (D – Burlington) – YES
Robert LaClair (R – Barre) – NO
Martin LaLonde (D – S. Burlington) – YES
Diane Lanpher (D – Vergennes) – YES
Paul Lefebvre (R – Newark) – NO
Felisha Leffler (R – Esburgh) – NO
William Lippert (D – Hinesburg) – YES
Emily Long (D – Newfane) – YES
Terence Macaig (D – Williston) – YES
Michael Marcotte (R – Coventry) – NO
Marcia Martel (R – Waterford) – NO
James Masland (D – Thetford) – YES
Christopher Mattos (R – Milton) – NO
Michael McCarthy (D – St. Albans) – YES
Curtis McCormack (D – Burlington) – YES
Patricia McCoy (R – Poultney) – NO
James McCullough (D – Williston) – YES
Francis McFaun (R – Barre) – NO
Leland Morgan (R – Milton) – NO
Kristi Morris (D – Springfield) – YES
Mary Morrissey (R – Bennington) – NO
Michael Mrowicki (D – Putney) – YES
Barbara Murphy (I – Fairfax) – NO
Linda Myers (R – Essex) – NO
Logan Nicoll (D – Ludlow) – NO
Terry Norris (I – Shoreham) – NO
William Notte (D – Rutland) – YES
Daniel Noyes (D – Wolcott) – YES
John O’Brien (D – Tunbridge) – YES
Jean O’Sullivan (D – Burlington) – YES
Carol Ode (D – Burlington) – YES
“Woody” Page (R – Newport) – NO
Kelly Pajala (I – Londonderry) – NO
John Palasik (R – Milton) – NO
Carolyn Partridge (D – Windham) – YES
Avram Patt (D – Worcester) – YES
David Potter (D – Clarendon) – YES
Ann Pugh (D – S. Burlington) – YES
Constance Quimby (R – Concord) – NO
Barbara Rachelson (D – Burlington) – YES
Zachariah Ralph (P – Hartland) – YES
Marybeth Redmond (D – Essex) – YES
Peter Reed (I – Braintree) –  YES
Lucy Rogers (D – Waterville) – YES
Carl Rosenquist (R – Georgia) – NO
Brian Savage (R – Swanton) – NO
Robin Scheu (D – Middlebury) – YES
Heidi Scheuermann (R – Stowe) – NO
Patrick Seymour (R – Sutton) – NO
Charles “Butch” Shaw (R – Pittsford) – NO
Amy Sheldon (D – Middlebury) – YES
Laura Sibilia (I – Dover) – NO
Brian Smith (R – Derby) – NO
Harvey Smith (R – New Haven) – NO
Trevor Squirrell (D – Underhill) – YES
Thomas Stevens (D – Waterbury) – YES
Vicki Strong (R – Albany) – NO
Linda Joy Sullivan (D – Burlington) – YES
Mary Sullivan (D – Dorset) – NO
Randall Szott (D – Barnard) – NO
Curt Taylor (D – Colchester) – YES
Thomas Terenzini (R – Rutland) – NO
George Till (D – Jericho) – YES
Tristan Tole (D – Brattleboro) – YES
Catherine Toll (D – Danville) – YES
Casey Toof (R – St. Albans) – NO
Maida Townsend (D – South) – YES
Matthew Trieber (D – Rockingham) – YES
Joseph “Chip” Troia (D – Stannard) – YES
Tommy Walz (D – Barre) – YES
Kathryn Webb (D – Shelburne) – YES
Rebecca White (D – Hartford) – YES
Theresa Wood (D – Waterbury) – YES
David Yacovone (D – Morristown) – YES
Michael Yantachka (D – Charlotte) – YES
Samuel Young (D – Greensboro) – YES

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mark Ellingwood January 31, 2020 at 9:19 pm

Thanks for making this information available!

Reply

Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post:

About Us

The Ethan Allen Institute is Vermont’s free-market public policy research and education organization. Founded in 1993, we are one of fifty-plus similar but independent state-level, public policy organizations around the country which exchange ideas and information through the State Policy Network.
Read more...

Latest News

American Businesses and the Minimum Wage

After a minimum wage increase, these 184 American businesses chose 1 or more of the following between 2015-19: 1) Laid off employees 2) Gave employees fewer hours 3)...

GWSA Passes Out of Energy & Technology Committee

February 14, 2020 by Rob Roper The Global Warming Solutions Act (GWSA) bill passed out of the House Energy & Technology Committee on a 7-2 vote and moved...

VT Childcare Policy: Make it more expensive and less accessible!

February 13, 2020 by Rob Roper The House Education Committee is busy formulating the next steps in what is and has been a long-term, hostile takeover of a...

$200 Million Worth of Climate “Spaghetti”

February 10, 2020 by Rob Roper In a recent interview with VPR, Rep. Tim Briglin (D-Norwich), who chairs the House Energy & Technology Committee, admitted that the state...

Commentary: Vermont Needs School Choice to Fight Racism

February 7, 2020 By David Flemming While Vermont has less of a problem with racism at school than many states, it is still a problem. Recently, some Vermont...

Video