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By Pat Warren

Annapolis, Md. (WJZ) — Maryland lawmakers are hoping to ease the burden of low-income workers by requiring employers to offer some form of paid sick days. Political reporter Pat Warren looks at the prospects of passing a law this year.

This is one of those issues that comes back again and again, and supporters hope this year the General Assembly looks past the politics, to the people.

For tens of thousands of Marylanders, getting sick is not only a health issue, it’s an economic one. Families are forced to choose between their wallets and their well-being.

“This is a bill about family values. This is a bill that says people should be able to take of themselves and their children when illness strikes,” says Melissa Broom, with Job Opportunities Task Force.

“I just this past winter got bronchitis so I actually had to go into the office really sick. Supporters lined up outside the statehouse last year to press home the point,” says one supporter.

Supporters last year lined up outside the Statehouse to press home the point.

Baltimore Delegate Luke Clippinger led the fight to get paid sick days through the House last year, only to see it die in the Senate on the final day of the session.

“I think so I think we’re going to pass earned sick leave this year,” says Maryland Delegate Luke Clippinger, Baltimore City.

The senate leadership also appears to be on board, and Governor Hogan is also proposing a plan.

“That we believe is a common sense proposal that should be able to reach agreement on all sides with the business community and all the advocates pushing for this,” says Hogan.

But the house bill and the governor’s plan differ on the number of employees. The House says companies with 15 or more should offer 7 days. The Governor says companies with 50 or more should offer 5 days.

Both sides believe they can reach some compromise.

The general assembly convenes Wednesday at noon.

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