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May 25, 2024

In May Podcast, King Discusses the Importance of Paid Family and Medical Leave for Maine Workers and Businesses

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Office of U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME) today released the May episode of his “Inside Maine” podcast, in which he discussed the importance of paid family and medical leave. During the podcast, U.S. Senator Deb Fischer (R-NE) joined Senator King to discuss how they are working together to extend existing federal paid family and medical leave policies. Later in the podcast, Drew Wyman, Executive Director of the Maine Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, joined Senator King to highlight how paid family medical leave is helpful to those caring for family members suffering from memory loss diseases.

Senators King and Fischer, who recently introduced the Paid Family and Medical Leave Tax Credit Extension and Enhancement Actled the original effort to establish the country’s first ever nationwide PFML policy. Their legislation created a two-year general business tax credit for employers that voluntarily offered up to 12 weeks of PFML to employees below a certain income level. The current credit, included in the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act and implemented in 2018, is scheduled to expire in 2025. King and Fischer want to make the tax credit permanent.

Paid family leave legislation is not just important for parents to take care of their children. In Maine, there are nearly 30,000 people age 65 and older living with Alzheimer’s Disease. As a result, thousands of Maine people need to take time off work to care for their loved ones.

“I have often said that Maine is one big town — big community — with long roads. And when a member of our community is hurting, we drop everything to take care of our own. However, no one should have to choose between caring for our families or receiving the next paycheck to put food on the table,” said Senator King. “I am proud to be working with my colleague, Senator Deb Fischer, on legislation that will support Maine people when they need to take care of a loved one — whether that’s a child or an elderly family member suffering from a memory loss illness and want to thank both Senator Fischer and Drew Wyman for coming on ‘Inside Maine.’”

A lifelong Nebraskan, Deb Fischer is the senior senator from Nebraska. Senator Fischer was first elected to the U.S. Senate in November 2012, becoming the first Nebraska woman elected to a full term and the first Nebraska state senator elected directly after service in the state legislature. Six years later, in November 2018, Nebraskans voted overwhelmingly to send her back to the U.S. Senate for a second term. Senator Fischer recently joined the Appropriations Committee, which helps shape the federal government’s spending policies.

Drew Wyman is the Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association, Maine Chapter, serving in this role since 2020. He leads efforts to provide education and support to all those facing Alzheimer’s and other dementias throughout the state, including people living with the disease, caregivers, families, and health care professionals. In addition, the Association advocates for the needs and rights of those facing dementia and advances critical research toward methods of treatment, prevention, and, ultimately, a cure. Drew has worked for the Maine Chapter since 2009, serving in other roles including Director of Communications. Previously, he worked for the Maine Island Trails Association.

The "Inside Maine" podcast airs on the last Saturday of the month on Portland Newsradio WGAN and aims to keep Maine people informed about issues affecting life in the state and how they factor into Senator King’s work.


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