(The Center Square) – Gov. Chris Sununu and Democratic lawmakers continue to spar over competing bills on paid leave to care for a family member, including the Democratic plan that would institute an income tax.
The issue has long been debated along partisan lines. At a meeting of the Senate Finance Committee, Sununu testified in support of a voluntary 6-week paid family leave program, SB 730, sponsored by Sen. Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro.
“I support paid leave, and this bill is the only viable way to get it done,” Sununu said. “Make no mistake – the people of New Hampshire will never support an income tax. I urge all Democrats on this committee to join me in opposing an income tax by delivering this voluntary paid family leave program for New Hampshire families.”
Sununu said he would oppose the 12-week mandated plan put forth by Democrats, HB 712, which would tax wages and put the money into a fund to be used when needed to care for a loved one.
In a statement from the New Hampshire Democratic Party, spokesperson Michael Beyer said, “Instead of supporting a bipartisan paid family and medical leave plan, Sununu played politics and cooked up a half-baked scheme that even he can’t answer for.”
“It is critical that any paid family leave program we pass is both voluntary and does not include an income tax,” Bradley said. “This legislation will provide families with the financial relief to care for a loved one while protecting taxpayers at the same time. I commend Governor Sununu for being a leader on this issue and working to find a compromise solution for the people of New Hampshire.”
The Republican bill has since been sent for Interim Study, which could essentially table it, and the Democratic proposal was voted Ought to Pass. The full Senate is scheduled to consider those recommendations.
Sununu vetoed a similar mandated measure that was proposed last year.