After an hour of debate, the House of Delegates voted 88-52 on Thursday to override Governor Larry Hogan’s veto of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act, a bill that would require employers with 15 or more full-time employees to provide workers with at least five days of sick and safe leave per year. The vote was 88-52. The chamber needed 85 votes, or three-fifths, to override the governor’s veto.
The Senate is expected to take up the issue as early as Friday. Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller predicted Wednesday there would be a “battle” over the issue in his chamber. Getting three-fifths in the Senate means 29 of 47 members would need to support the override. The paid-leave bill passed the Senate last year with exactly that, 29 votes. If the override passes, the legislation would take effect in 30 days.
The Senate voted 30 to 17 on Friday to override Governor Hogan’s veto of the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act. The legislation becomes law in 30 days.
Earlier this week, Governor Hogan introduced “The Paid Leave Compromise Act of 2018.” The bill, phased in over three years, would apply to employers with 50 or more employees in 2018, employers with 40 or more employees in 2019, and employers with 25 or more employees in 2020. Hogan also announced a companion bill, which would provide $100M in tax incentives to small businesses to offset the costs of providing employees with paid sick leave.
HB 1 would also require county governments to provide sick leave to all employees. While county governments generally provide generous benefits, at a much higher rate than the legislation would require, MACo opposed the legislation, raising concerns about the bill’s potential effects on provision of emergency and essential services and with the bill’s broad requirements for providing leave to part-time, seasonal, and contractual employees in the same manner as full-time employees.
Stay tuned to Conduit Street for more coverage, or contact Kevin Kinnally at MACo with any additional questions.