Maryland Senate votes in favor of paid sick leave bill

Posted at 12:21 PM, Mar 16, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-16 17:32:58-04

The Maryland Senate voted 29-18 in favor of a paid sick leave bill Thursday.

The bill would require businesses with 15 or more employees to provide paid sick leave.

Advocates with the Working Matters organization released the following statement:

"After five long years of fighting for this bill, earned paid sick days are within reach for hundreds of thousands of Maryland families. The fight is far from over, but today's Senate passage of the Healthy Working Families Act marks a critical step forward. We thank our Senate sponsor Chairman Mac Middleton for his tremendous leadership on this bill, without which we would not have gotten to this point. We also thank the members of the Maryland Senate who stood up for Maryland working families today and voted yes on the bill.

"As the bill continues to move through the legislature, we will continue to urge Delegates, Senators and Governor Hogan to support this commonsense, meaningful piece of legislation. Hundreds of thousands of Maryland families are counting on your leadership. The time is now."

Gov. Larry Hogan promised to veto the bill at a news conference Wednesday. He said a measure passed by the House or nearing a vote in the Senate would be "dead on arrival."

RELATED: Hogan pledges veto of paid sick leave bill before lawmakers

Hogan has his own proposal that would provide for paid sick leave for businesses with 50 or more employees. It hasn't moved forward.

There are substantial differences between the House and Senate bills. Those differences would have to be worked out between the two chambers before the legislature's adjournment on April 10.

The Senate would need 29 votes to override a veto. Several of the Senate's 33 Democrats have expressed concerns about the current bill.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.