Larry Hogan: The Only Person Willing to Work
Governor Larry Hogan is continuing to be the only person willing to work across the aisle on major issues in Annapolis.
Last December, Governor Hogan proposed a statewide measure to expand paid leave. This bill was not popular in conservative circles, particularly here at Red Maryland. But what the Governor did do was create a bipartisan plan that would cover 100% of Maryland workers. In their haste to stick it to the Governor, the General Assembly put the Governor’s bill in a draw and instead decide to pass the job-killing HB1 instead. Governor Hogan rightly vetoed that terrible, no-good bill, but legislative Democrats are already gearing up to override his veto.
In one last attempt to bring sanity to the conversation, Governor Hogan today announced another attempt at compromise proposal to on the paid leave issue, showing once again that Governor Hogan is the only party to this dispute that wants to have a dialogue on this issue with the other side of the aisle.
Let’s take a look at how we got here.
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In May, the Governor vetoed HB1 for obvious reasons; it was inflexible, it was a burden on business owners, and it was going to put people out of work. The Governor then signed two executive orders, one extending paid sick leave to contractual employees in state government, and the second giving preference in state contracts to contractors who extended sick leave to their employees. The Governor also created a task force, led by Labor Secretary Kelly Schulz, to study the issue. That task force issued their report today, which you can read here. Their recommendations were:
- The committee recommends that the governor continue to explore meaningful workforce training opportunities through the combined efforts of the Departments of Labor and Human Services. The recently submitted state workforce development plan is a positive way to move to a coordinated plan that includes multiple departments in this effort. In addition to the training opportunities, the state should look to incentivise those employers who are providing a higher level of benefits to their employees, particularly those that are receiving state subsidies.
- The committee recommends extending the exemption to the entire construction industry. Many workers within the trades work for more than one employer in a given year, depending on the type of job that they are working on, and the length of time to completion. There is considerable turnover of employees within the industry sector as employees often “jump from job to job” in order to stay employed during all four seasons. Given the hardship to seasonal employers, and to maintain continuity in service to the Maryland tourism, the committee recommends extending the number of days worked before collecting benefits to at least 120.
- The committee recommends streamlining the legislation to eliminate all reference to parttime status that will provide parity to employees, as well as streamlined operations for the employer. Additionally, altering the damages section of HB1 to mirror the damages placed in the recently crafted minimum wage statute would provide clear direction for employer who desire to be in full compliance.
This was the basis for Governor Hogan’s new compromise proposal, which includes requiring businesses of 25 or more employees to offer paid sick leave by 2020, allowing businesses to apply for a hardship exemption to the requirements, and removes burdensome enforcement regulations that were included in HB1.
The Democratic reaction today has made it seem like Governor Hogan was going to force people to be chained to their desks. It was an insane, hyper overreaction that shows just how out of touch Democrats are from average Marylanders and reinforces the fact that Democratic virtue signaling on support for small-businesses does not jive with their record of imposing burdensome requirements and regulations on those trying to create jobs and grow our economy.
Many conservatives, myself included, aren’t going to like the Governor’s new bill any more than we liked the last one. But nobody can argue that Governor Hogan’s proposal is more equitable and more easily implemented than the Democrats large, convoluted proposal contained in HB1. That Governor Hogan is willing to reach across the aisle and compromise on this bill, and the Democrats rhetoric and insistence on passing the flawed HB1, shows how entrenched the Democrats are in their radical, out-of-touch ways, and remind us again the critical nature of 2018’s election.