When Gov. Hogan vetoed the paid sick leave bill this spring, he also issued an executive order to form a task force on the subject. The goal was to draft a compromise version of the bill, including regulations that would not harm businesses, by the time the 2018 General Assembly session began. However, Democrats feel that Hogan didn’t work with them to craft a compromise measure in 2017, so they are working on getting the votes together to override the governor’s veto in January.
Now, there is a new wrinkle. The Maryland Democratic Party filed a complaint against Gov. Hogan’s task force, citing the state’s open meetings law. The complaint states that public bodies like the task force must give advance notice about meetings, post agendas in advance, hold public meetings, and make the minutes of the meetings available to the public. However, Hogan’s office says that the meetings are not required to be open because the task force isn’t a public body, but instead a committee of the Governor’s Executive Council.
Whether the task force and the supporters of the original paid sick leave bill can reach a compromise remains to be seen, but the task force will submit its report by Dec. 1. In the meantime, NFIB/MD is preparing to fight against a veto override.
“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,” NFIB/MD State Director Mike O’Halloran told The Baltimore Sun.