Maine considers latest paid leave bill

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AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine could allow up to 12 weeks of paid family leave or 20 weeks of paid medical leave under a top Democrat's bill.

The Legislature's Labor and Housing Committee has scheduled a public hearing Friday.

Employee contributions would cover benefits and administrative costs under Democratic House Speaker Sara Gideon's bill. Employers or the state of Maine wouldn't have to make mandatory contributions, though state funding will cover the program's start-up costs.

Employees must have paid into the fund for at least 26 weeks in the previous year to qualify.

Employees could use family leave after the birth of a child and medical leave to address a personal medical issue.

Lawmakers are considering other paid leave proposals.

Supporters say if lawmakers don't act, the matter could go to voters.