By Pat Warren

BALTIMRE (WJZ) — Maryland lawmakers prepare for battle over who gets to call in sick.

Governor Larry Hogan vetoed a paid sick days bill this year, and lawmakers have vowed to override it as soon as the session starts in January.

The governor is now offering an alternative.

This was a hard fought issue on a lot of fronts this session, and now it’s shaping up to be a headliner in the 2018 election year.

Marylanders for whom taking a sick day means not getting paid were the heart of House Bill 1, which passed the general assembly, but was vetoed by Gov. Hogan, who said it would crush small businesses and kill thousands of jobs.

Hogan introduced a new proposal at a news conference in Annapolis Tuesday. The governor said the bill he vetoed was a “confusing, unwieldy, unfair, and deeply flawed bill.”

The general assembly bill passed this year and vetoed by the governor requires companies with 15 or more employees to provide five paid sick days.

Hogan’s new proposal offers the benefit to workers in companies with 25 or more employees, phased in over three years.

About 700,000 people in Maryland could benefit from paid sick days.

Gov. Hogan’s own proposal for sick leave in the 2017 session did not get a vote in the general assembly. He blames partisan politics.

We’ll have a better idea how this new Hogan proposal is received when lawmakers assemble in Annapolis January 10.

If the Democratic majority general assembly and the Republican governor are looking for an election year fight, this could be it.

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