Late Thursday night, the State Senate passed the Paid Sick Leave bill (S.B. 217) with various amendments including an exemption for some existing collective bargaining agreements. The vote was a close one — 20-16 — and you can find the roll call here.
The bill would make Connecticut the first state to require employers of 50 or more, to allow workers to take 6½ paid sick days per year. It would also apply to municipalities. One additional amendment that passed would limt the times when employee could use sick time for an illness of an employee or employee’s child.
The bill now moves on to the House for further consideration, where nearly 40 legislators have publicly co-sponsored the bill already. Some of the sponsors of the bill have predicted passage there, but its real future is unknown at this point, with the session winding down. Debate in the Senate took two days and it is unclear if there is enough time left for the bill to pass.
The Hartford Courant has a late report and reaction here:
[State Senator Edith] Prague called the bill a major boon to average working people, "especially single parents, like women, who have to go to work. They can’t afford the luxury of staying home if they’re sick. They need that day’s pay to feed the kids … and heat the house." …
But opponents said the increasing business competition in a difficult economy is the reason that lawmakers should not approve the bill: It would put Connecticut at a disadvantage and cost the jobs of some of the very workers it is intended to help, they said.
The state’s leading business lobbying group, the Connecticut Business and Industry Association, has said the bill "would cost employers in dollars and productivity — a tough one-two punch in this weakening economy."
UPDATE: You can also find the CT News Junkie coverage of the bill here.