ANNAPOLIS (October 26, 2017): In an attempt to garner support to override Governor Hogan’s veto of House Bill 1, the lead sponsors touted their plan today to mandate that all Maryland businesses provide a leave benefit to their employees and complain about Governor Hogan’s attempts to strike a compromise on a paid leave policy. The Maryland Business Coalition, made up of business advocacy groups including the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the Maryland Retailers Association, and the Restaurant Association of Maryland, remain staunchly opposed to the measure.
“House Bill 1 is a bill that was written by paid leave mandate advocates pushing an agenda of higher labor costs, increased prices, and mountains of red tape. What little changes were made in no way addresses the concerns of the business community and to suggest they do is disingenuous,” said Mike O’Halloran, NFIB Maryland State Director. “We begged legislative leaders to show compassion towards Maryland small business owners, who would be the most impacted by this mandate, and we were ignored. Despite bipartisan support for our proposals to blunt the impact, House and Senate leaders chose to ignore the needs of small business and move forward with a bill that will crush them if it becomes law.”
The NFIB Research Foundation published a report in January showing House Bill 1 could cost Maryland 13,000 jobs and more than $1.5 billion in economic output by 2027. Small businesses would bear 57 percent of job losses and 53 percent of lost sales.
“Luckily Governor Hogan heard the concerns from Maryland businesses and vetoed this costly mandate,” added Cailey Locklair Tolle, President of the Maryland Retailers Association. “Advocates for a paid leave mandate are hiding the ugly truth of what will happen if the legislature chooses to override the Governor’s veto next session. We’re talking about reduced benefits, fewer hours available to work, and fewer jobs for Maryland employees. House Bill 1 is an affront to the economic progress Maryland has made since the recession.”
The Coalition has launched a website, www.SaveMDJobs.com, aimed at educating the public about the harmful effects of HB1’s one-size-fits-all mandate.
“Small business owners and employees alike cannot afford another well-intentioned but economically harmful policy like mandated paid leave,” said Melvin Thompson, Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Public Policy at the Restaurant Association of Maryland. “Our citizens need to understand the unintended consequences, and contact their senators and delegates to ask them to save our state’s small businesses by voting to sustain the Governor’s veto when the legislature reconvenes in January,” Thompson continued.