- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 25, 2017

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan on Thursday vetoed a bill that would have required employers to provide paid sick leave.

Mr. Hogan, a Republican, called the measure “a deeply flawed, job-killing paid leave bill,” saying “studies show it would cost thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in lost economic activity.”

He said his administration had offered a compromise that would have given employers incentives for offering paid sick leave, but that idea was nixed by the Democrat-controlled General Assembly.

“Our administration fully supports paid sick leave benefits for Marylanders, but we cannot and will not support this job-killing bill passed by the legislature, which would hurt the very workers that they are pretending to want to help,” Mr. Hogan said.

The measure would have required businesses with at least 15 employees to provide five days of sick leave to those who work at least 12 hours a week. Those workers would have to be on the payroll for at least 106 days.

Maryland currently does not require employers to provide paid sick leave, though most large companies do so. Only seven states — California, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Vermont, Arizona and Washington — and the District of Columbia require some employers to provide the benefit.

Maryland Democratic Party chair Kathleen Matthews said the bill had “brought all sides of the table together” to provide sick leave to more than 700,000 state residents.

“Hard work should pay off, and working Marylanders shouldn’t have to decide between a paycheck and taking care of themselves and their families,” Ms. Matthews said Thursday in a statement.

The bill made it through both chambers with veto-proof majorities, but the Senate margin was razor-thin. It passed in April with 29 votes, the minimum amount needed to override a veto.

Ms. Matthews did not say whether Democrats plan to try to override the veto, but did offer a jab at Mr. Hogan’s re-election prospects.

“Voters will remember in next year’s election that Governor Larry Hogan put his own agenda ahead over the health of working Marylanders and their families,” she said.

• Ryan M. McDermott can be reached at rmcdermott@washingtontimes.com.

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