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Paid sick days plan dead this year

The Baltimore Sun
State lawmakers won't vote on plan to grant workers paid sick leave.

The organization that last year fought to raise Maryland's minimum wage, this year has failed to advance a law giving workers paid sick time.

House and Senate leaders told advocates they would not take committee votes on the proposal, and suggested they spend the next few months building a plan that would garner stronger support.

"Our committees recognize the complex nature of this legislation and the potential impact that it may have, if enacted on the state's businesses and workforce," wrote Senate Finance Committee Chairman Thomas "Mac" Middleton and House Economic Matters Chairman Dereck E. Davis, urging advocates to come back in the fall.

The group had pushed a law that would have required most business to allow workers to earn up to 7 days a year in paid sick time each year. The business community objected, in part for imposing a mandate on business and in part because the requirement went too far.

Maryland Working Families, which advocated for the proposal, released a statement Monday criticizing the Democratic-controlled legislature for letting the plan die without a vote.

Spokeswoman Stacey Mink in a statement cautioned that if paid sick time were made into an election year issue, it would likely be watered down the same way Maryland's minimum wage law was last year.

President Barack Obama in his State of the State speech in January called for states to enact such paid sick time laws. Connecticut, Massachusetts and California have passed them.

This post originally misstated the number of sick days the bill would have provided. The Sun regrets the error.


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