OPINION | Barry Richard: Paid Family Leave Too Costly
With the Trump Administration peeling away costly and prohibitive regulations for business Massachusetts may continue to take steps in the opposite direction.
A question that could appear on the November ballot proposes the Paid Family And Medical Leave Program. The initiative has widespread support among Beacon Hill lawmakers. Supporters say it would enable more workers to take their own medical leave or care for sick family members without having to go unpaid potentially for weeks at a time.
The proposal, like most progressive ideas, is well-intentioned but expensive. And guess who pays for it?
In the case of private companies, business owners would be forced to contribute 0.63 percent of each employee's annual wages into an account. The employees would also see a payroll deduction directed to that account. The account would then be used to pay the worker should he or she decide to take paid family and or medical leave.
Associated Industries of Massachusetts says the program would be "disruptive, expensive and unnecessary." AIM says it would cost workers and businesses $1 billion. The state would be on the hook for $55 million for its workforce and another $70 million to pay for the bureaucracy required to administer the program.
We have seen what tax reform and scaling back regulations have done to spur the national economy. Why would anyone want to add more costly regulations and burdensome social programs in Massachusetts?
The Paid Family and Medical Leave Program is bad for working families, bad for business and bad for Massachusetts. It should be rejected by lawmakers and by voters if, in fact, it does reach the ballot in November.
Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3 p.m. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.
Material for this blog was contributed by The State House News Service