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Maine Governor Signs AARP-Backed Paid Leave Law

En español | We applaud Maine Gov. Janet Mills for signing an AARP-backed bill that will make it easier for working Mainers to take paid time off to care for themselves or a loved one.

The bill was signed July 11, making Maine the 16th state, along with the District of Columbia, to adopt some form of paid family leave, although some programs are still being implemented.

Starting in 2026, all public and private workers in the state will be able to take up to 12 weeks of paid leave a year to care for their own health or for a family member or significant other with a serious illness. Paid leave also may be taken for the birth, adoption or fostering of a child.

Calling the law a “momentous win for the state’s 166,00 family caregivers,” AARP Maine State Director Noël Bonam said it “will support family caregivers who work to better balance their job and family responsibilities, reducing their stress and allowing them to better care for their loved ones.”

Once implemented, the program will be funded by a new payroll tax of up to 1 percent that’s to be split between employers and employees.The maximum weekly benefit will be $1,103.

Maine is the second state this year to guarantee paid leave for family caregivers, with a push from AARP. Minnesota enacted a similar law in June. Illinois passed a limited paid leave bill in January that requires employers to allow workers to take off at least five days a year for any reason.

AARP has long advocated for a national paid family and medical leave policy, and we continue to urge Congress to pass laws supporting the country’s 48 million unpaid caregivers.

Read more about Maine’s new paid leave law and learn more about AARP’s resources for family caregivers.

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