New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie vetoed a bill last Friday that would expand paid leave benefits.
The bill (A4927) would increase the state’s paid leave policy to 12 weeks from six and raise the cap on reimbursements, as well as expand the state’s definition of a family member under FMLA.
“The sponsors of this bill have attempted to placate the numerous concerns raised about the fiscal impact of this bill by assuring that it can be done without raising the payroll tax used to support the same,” Christie said in his veto message. “However, the ‘facts’ supporting that assertion are flimsy at best and put the burden for their mistake, as usual, on the taxpayers.”
Although Christie’s veto was conditional, he excised 17 of 23 pages, which N.J. Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto described as “gutting” the bill.
Small businesses and employer groups, however, cheered the decision, which “would do nothing more than add to the patchwork of state paid family leave laws,” wrote Bryan Hum, a retirement and compensation policy associate at the ERISA Industry Committee in a letter to the governor.
Supporters of the bill said they will push the state’s new governor to sign similar legislation once Christie’s term ends in January.
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