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Governor Hogan vetoes earned paid sick days in Maryland

The decision will leave 750,000 Marylanders without access to earned paid sick days

May 25, 2017: Today, with a sweep of his pen, Governor Hogan vetoed the Healthy Working Families Act (HB 1), a bill which would have made Maryland the eighth state to ensure working people can earn paid sick days.
Governor Hogan’s decision to deny hardworking Marylanders the ability to take time to care for their families is nothing short of heartless. The victims of this decision are Maryland workers and their families. Instead of being able to take the time they need to care for their loved ones, these Marylanders will continue to be forced to make the heartbreaking decisions of choosing between missing work to visit their sick child in the hospital or paying the rent.
The Governor has also turned his back on Maryland businesses, who could have had eight months to implement this smart policy leading to a reduction in turnover and enhancing workplace health. Instead, the Governor has caved to interests of the corporate lobby and turned his back on working Marylanders.
While many Marylanders are disappointed by this outcome, the fight is far from over. Because the bill passed with a veto-proof majority, the Maryland Legislature can take an override vote in the next legislative session.
Earned paid sick days would not have gotten to this point without the leadership of the bill’s sponsors, Del. Luke Clippinger, Del. Dereck Davis and Sen. Mac Middleton, and the support of Maryland legislators in the House and the Senate.

“With his veto, the Governor has once again chosen to side with big-money corporate interests at the expense of workers and their families. We have been fighting for five years to get working Marylanders the earned sick leave they desperately need and that politicians like the Governor already have, and we will keep fighting,” said Sally Dworak-Fisher, attorney at the Public Justice Center.
By vetoing the bill, Governor Hogan has kept his promise that the bill would be “dead on arrival” – a position which was at odds with majority of Maryland legislators and voters. Both the House and the Senate approved the bill, and polls show that Marylanders overwhelmingly support earned paid sick days – more than eight in ten Marylanders, according to a 2017 University of Maryland-Washington Post poll.
For the past five years, the Public Justice Center has served as a leader of Working Matters, a coalition made up of 160 organizations, fighting on the front lines to pass the Healthy Working Families Act. As the bill advanced through the legislature, Working Matters held rallies, circulated petitions, and worked closely with Maryland legislators to make earned sick days a reality for Maryland working families. The coalition, along with the bill’s sponsors in the House and Senate, made an impassioned plea: everyone gets sick, and everyone needs time to get better. 
We now look to the Maryland Legislature to override this veto immediately when they return to the legislative session in January 2018.


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