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Sweeney Renews Efforts To Enact Paid Family Leave

TRENTON – Senate Majority Leader Stephen M. Sweeney today said he will press for enactment of a paid family leave proposal that reflects his efforts to satisfy concerns of the business community.

“I’m confident that this proposal will still give families of working New Jerseyans the comfort and time they need to deal with crises without disarming small businesses of the support they need to thrive,” said Senator Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland.

Under the new proposal, Senator Sweeney said he would propose a maximum of six weeks of partially paid time off – down from 10 weeks – for workers who need to help a sick family member or to nurture a newborn or adopted child.

“Employers still won’t have to spend a dime to support the fund that would pay for the leave time,” said Senator Sweeney. “This will be a worker-funded system that will be scaled back, but still worth the effort.”

Workers would contribute about a dollar a week to support the program which would provide workers with about two-thirds of their regular salaries up to a maximum of roughly $500 weekly.

Senator Sweeney had pressed for a paid family leave measure last year that was held up in the Assembly when the business community pressured the lower house for more time to scale it back.

After subsequent negotiations, Governor Corzine, Senate President Richard J. Codey and Assembly Speaker Joseph J. Roberts Jr. backed Senator Sweeney’s efforts conceptually, but agreed more time was needed to resolve an accord.

Senator Sweeney said the new bill will be scheduled for consideration shortly before the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee.


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