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Government & Politics

House Panel Kills Senate Bill Extending Effective Date of Sick Leave Law

The House Economic Matters Committee killed a Senate bill Thursday that would have pushed back the effective date of the state’s new sick-leave legislation to July 1 retroactively.

The requirement for employers to pay sick leave earned by nearly 700,000 workers in the state became law Sunday, after the legislation was vetoed by Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan (R) last year and then overridden by the General Assembly last month as one of its first orders of business.

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House Economic Matters Chairman Dereck E. Davis

Under the bill as overridden, the effective date for employees to begin accruing paid leave time, and for the state to begin enforcement of the new law, was Feb. 11 — 30 days after the Jan. 12 override date.

The emergency bill voted down Thursday was sponsored by Sen. Thomas M. “Mac” Middleton, a Charles County Democrat who chairs the Finance Committee. It was introduced after the veto override in an effort to give affected businesses and the state Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation months to prepare to implement the law.

The House of Delegates had indicated it was not willing to take the matter up again, but that message came through loud and clear earlier this week when Middleton appeared before Economic Matters to testify on his bill.

After Middleton explained his bill and the rationale behind it, he said he would be glad to answer any questions from the committee. Economic Matters Chairman Dereck E. Davis, a Prince George’s County Democrat, said simply, “We don’t have any questions for the senator, do we? I didn’t think so, sir.”