To the editor:

New Hampshire families need paid family and medical leave.

When working people in New Hampshire need to take time off because of a serious medical issue or to take care of a child, spouse or parent’s serious medical issue, this is more often than not experienced as lost income and even lost professions.

When my mother got sick, I couldn’t afford to leave my job, and I had no paid leave. I would start my day early, leave the house at 6:30 a.m., commute an hour to put in an eight-hour day, then drive from Peabody to Hudson, N.H., to spend two to four hours with my mother, to then drive back to Derry.

I was putting in 15 to 16 hour days, working and taking care of my mother, and then had to care for my daughter and husband. Ultimately, when my mother went on hospice, I had to take unpaid time off to care for her. There was no other choice.

Having access to paid leave when my mother was dying would have been helpful to my family.

Paid family leave makes sure that hardworking New Hampshire families are not left behind but instead are supported in their time of crisis.

Last year, Gov. Chris Sununu vetoed legislation that would have established paid family and medical leave for all working people in our state. He has a second chance to provide this much needed support by signing House Bill 712.

This bipartisan bill establishes a paid family and medical leave program for all working individuals and families in our state.

When HB 712 reaches Sununu’s desk, I hope he will sign it into law and support New Hampshire families.

Maureen Meletis

Derry

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