BALTIMORE (WJZ/AP) — Paid sick days advocates rally to urge lawmakers to override Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of the bill passed in the General assembly this year.
Governor Hogan says there’s still time to compromise on a paid sick leave bill but it has to be better than the one he vetoed.
Advocates for paid sick days scored a legislative victory five years in the making with the passage of a paid sick days bill.
Hogan vetoed the bill last week. He said it would be “disastrous” to Maryland’s economy, kill small businesses and jeopardize thousands of jobs. The Republican governor says he is open to a “common sense” approach to paid sick leave.
“This legislation is an ill conceived, poorly written, complicated, confusing and inflexible mess,” Hogan said.
A campaign to override the governor’s veto is already underway.
“We are beyond disappointed in the governor’s veto of this bill,” said Regan Vaughn of Catholic Charities.
“Just shame, this is just a shame,” said Dante Bishop of Maryland Working Families.
The bill provides one hour of sick leave for every 30 hours an employee works. That’s at least 5 paid sick days for workers in companies with 15 or more employees and unpaid leave from companies with under 15 workers.
“But you know what can kill jobs really quickly? Sick people going to work spreading diseases,” said Ricarra Jones of 1199 SEIU.
Governor Hogan’s own paid sick days bill was rejected by the General Assembly.
The governor’s office said he is:
“Committed to working with legislators, small business owners, workers, and advocates on a common sense, bipartisan, balanced plan that provides paid leave benefits to hardworking Marylanders without hurting our small business job creators.”
Supporters of the vetoed bill said they’ve already done that.
“We’re going to do the work to override the governor’s veto, and we’re going to do it the first thing in January,” Delegate Luke Clippinger said.
January is when the bill would have taken effect.
The governor said an emergency legislation can be offered in January that would take effect immediately if they can agree on what he calls a “common sense plan.”
An estimated 700,000 Marylanders could benefit from paid sick leave.
House Speaker Michael Busch and other Democrats say they will make a veto override a priority in January.
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