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LIVE VIDEO STREAM: House Session/Paid Sick Leave debate

by: ctblogger

Fri Jun 03, 2011 at 15:51:47 PM EDT

The House session has concluded...

UPDATE 3:10 AM: It's official, Connecticut is the first state to pass paid sick leave. After endless filibustering from the Republicans, the proposal has passed the House by a vote of 76-65.

Gov. Dannel Malloy released the following statement:

Throughout my campaign and now during my time as Governor, I've been clear about my commitment to the concept of paid sick leave, and I'm pleased that a reasonable compromise has passed both the Senate and the House.  As I've said before, this is good public policy and specifically, good public health.  Why would you want to eat food from a sick restaurant cook?  Or have your children taken care of by a sick day care worker?  The simple answer is - you wouldn't.  And now, you won't have to.  Without paid sick leave, frontline service workers - people who serve us food, who care for our children, and who work in hospitals, for example - are forced to go to work sick to keep their jobs.  That's not a choice I'm comfortable having people make under my tenure, and I'm proud to sign this bill when it comes to my desk.

Connecticut Working Families issued the following press release:
At 3:00 AM, the Connecticut House of Representatives gave final passage to the paid sick days bill, with a vote of 76-65. The bill, the first statewide paid sick days legislation in the nation, would guarantee hundreds of thousands of service workers the ability to earn paid sick days to care for their own health or the health of a family member. When workers in restaurants, day care and senior care are compelled to come to work sick, advocates say, it creates a real public health risk for all of us.

"For Connecticut residents who believe in common sense and common decency, today is a proud day," said Jon Green, Executive Director of Connecticut Working Families. "Especially in difficult times, no one should have to choose between their job and their health, or between being a good employee and a good parent. Because of the determination and hard work of the House of Representatives after a nearly 12 hour debate, hundreds of thousands of hard working families know they have elected leaders with the courage to do what's right."

Governor Malloy has pledged to sign the bill when it reaches his desk.

"Working without paid sick days nearly cost me my life," said Cheryl Folston, from Newington, who worked as a livery service driver and did not get paid sick leave at her job. Cheryl was unable to take time off from work to see a doctor, despite a persistent chest pain. When she was laid off, she learned she had a serious heart tumor, and had she waited any longer, it could have killed her.

"I am overwhelmed with gratitude today that Connecticut recognizes that even low wage workers like me deserve the dignity and the safety of being able to see the doctor or take a day off to recover from illness. No one should have to go through what I did," said Folston, who stayed at the Capitol into the early morning to watch the vote.

Advocates for family-friendly policies around the nation were watching Connecticut tonight. "We applaud Connecticut state legislators for standing on the side of workers, families and the economy," said Ellen Bravo, Executive Director of Family Values @ Work, a national consortium of state organizations working for paid sick days and paid family leave policies. "Coalitions of working families are fighting for paid sick days legislation across the country so that taking care of yourself or a loved one will not cost anyone a paycheck or a job."

San Francisco enacted the nation's first paid sick leave policy in 2007. According to a recent in depth survey, two thirds of employers in San Francisco now support the city's policy. A recent study by the global accounting firm PriceWaterhouseCoopers named San Francisco the world's third best city for business and innovation.

"San Francisco is known as having more progressive social policies like paid sick leave, but it really held its own as a business center that attracts entrepreneurs," said Merrill Pond, the architect of the report, in an interview in the Atlantic Monthly.

"Contrary to the claims of some opponents, San Francisco's Paid Sick Leave Ordinance hasn't damaged the city's reputation as a global hub for business and a destination for entrepreneurship," said Jon Green, Executive Director of Connecticut Working Families.

Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro:
"I am thrilled that Connecticut has passed this legislation and is poised to lead the nation on this critical issue. It is my belief that all Americans should be able to take care of themselves and their families if they are sick without having to worry about losing their jobs. This new law will help to ensure that our state's workers will be able to do so-and their ability to take time off, instead of showing up to work sick, known as 'presenteeism,' will help to reduce the estimated $160 billion a year in lost productivity across the country. Ensuring workers have access to paid sick days is in the best interests of our families, our state, and our nation and economy, and I will keep fighting to pass legislation at the federal level that will extend this benefit to all Americans."

Thanks to those who endured the 11 hours of nonsense from House Republicans who shamelessly dragged along this issue for political purposes. A special thanks also goes out to the great CT-N for establishing a video stream for Apple mobile devices (iPod Touch, iPhone, iPad).

...and a GREAT round of thanks goes out to Rep. Zeke Zalaski for enduring 11 hours of answering ridiculous inquiries from the House Republicans.

Use the #paidsickdays and/or #paidsickleave hashtag when commenting via Twitter and your post will appear below.

ctblogger :: LIVE VIDEO STREAM: House Session/Paid Sick Leave debate
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Yes!!! (0.00 / 0)

Kudos all around to all who worked to get this done.  Kudos to the Connecticut Working Families Party and to Gov. Malloy and to the state legislators who supported this bill.

But let justice roll down like waters...Amos 5:24a

Unfortunately it doesn't cover everyone. (0.00 / 0)
A national paid sick day program would cover everyone.

A Toehold (4.00 / 1)
Unlike a lot of the more disappointing compromises, sick days is a matter of going from zero to something, and it's structured to be easily improved. When it winds up not costing giant chains anything of significance, the minimum number of employees can slip downwards by 5 every year, or it can be extended to seasonals, or the formula for hours earned can improve, etc etc.

On the national level, Rosa introduced it, but what else can you do when the majority of congress wants to abolish Medicare and whatnot? Just pure craziness. I think it could work nationally, but it has to be shown to work on a smaller level first -- and now it has the chance to.  

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