New family medical go away payroll deduction begins on Jan. 1

An estimated 100,000 Connecticut employers will be making deductions from their employees’ paychecks on Friday for the state’s new paid family and sick leave program due to begin in a year.

It is one of the few new laws that will come into effect in the new year.

Many proponents of paid family vacation benefits see the new 0.5% wage deduction as an important milestone in a program they need now more than ever. Qualified employees will begin receiving benefits under the new Connecticut Paid Vacation program beginning January 1, 2022. This includes up to 12 weeks of replacement wages for employees who are taking a long break due to personal illness or who are looking after a family member or a loved one.

However, General Assembly Republican leaders continue to question whether the initiative makes financial sense, especially given the large number of coronavirus-related job losses in the state.

“If you look at the maximum contributions and maximum benefit under the law as written, I will deposit $ 600 in a bank account and take out $ 11,000. What household in Connecticut does this work for? “Asked Senator Kevin Kelly, R-Stratford, the new Republican Senate leader. He also noted that Connecticut currently has “historic levels” of unemployment.

“On paper, the program has never added up, and high unemployment and stagnant income growth will only hurt solvency,” Rep. Vincent Candelora, R-North Branford and future Republican leader of the House, said in a statement. Both leaders strongly supported some form of paid family leave and asked for an independent actuarial analysis to determine whether the current program could deliver the benefits it promised.

Josh Geballe, chief operating officer and chairman of the board of directors of the Paid Family and Medical Leave Insurance Authority of Democratic Governor Ned Lamont, said Wednesday that an actuary has been asked to rerun various scenarios in view of the pandemic to investigate how higher it is Unemployment rates and increased demand for benefits can have a financial impact on the fund.

“All analysis to date continues to confirm that the agency’s solvency is financially sound, despite the pressures that have emerged across the state and nation (with the pandemic),” he said.

Lamont said if there is greater demand for the program than expected, the law allows the benefits to be reduced.

“It will not make a bond criminal. There won’t be any tax hikes, ”Lamont said, arguing that the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated the importance of making it easier for people to stay home from work when they or a loved one are sick.

The program covers employers with one or more employees and is available to all employees who meet certain thresholds for earned wages. Individuals who are self-employed or sole proprietorships can sign up for the program.

Other new laws that will come into effect on Friday include:

– Pharmacists are required to provide a one-time, 30-day emergency supply of drugs and devices related to diabetes – with a price cap – within 12 months for diabetics who have had less than a week of insulin or similar equipment.

– Electricity utilities are required to provide state lawmakers and regulators with a cost-benefit analysis of how they have responded to the last five storms. It needs to include things like the number of line workers required within Connecticut and outside the state, estimated damage and service outages, equipment needs and costs, communication guidelines, and other aspects of storm response. The information is used by regulators to develop a minimum staffing level.

– Police officers across Connecticut must receive regular behavioral exams at least every five years. The assessment must be carried out by a board certified psychiatrist or psychologist who has experience in the diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. In addition, officers authorized to arrest or required to interact with the public must display their badge and name tag on the outermost layer of their uniforms.

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