Statement on Governor Hogan’s Decision to Veto the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act
SILVER SPRING, MD – On May 25, 2017, Governor Hogan chose to veto the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act (HB1), which would have enabled Marylanders to earn paid sick leave. In response, Leslie Graham, President and CEO of the Primary Care Coalition, released the following statement:
The Primary Care Coalition is troubled by Governor Hogan’s decision to veto the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act.
As the administrator of Montgomery Cares and Care for Kids, safety-net health care programs which together serve more than 30,000 under-resourced individuals, we know that health outcomes are determined by a variety of factors including work place policies such as the option to take time off from work to seek health care when you fall ill.
Here in Montgomery County, we are fortunate that our local government recognized the importance of paid sick leave and enacted a similar measure, which took effect in October 2016. Because the Maryland Healthy Working Families Act will not go into law this year, nearly 700,000 of our neighbors in other Maryland counties will remain unable to earn paid sick days, and will be forced to choose between taking care of their health and earning enough to pay the rent.
The consequences of impeding this paid sick leave policy are not restricted to the working families of Maryland. By depriving working people of the ability to seek timely and appropriate health care, this decision will increase the burden on our state’s hospitals, which are working to meet state deadlines to reduce emergency department and inpatient hospital use for preventable illnesses. These are illnesses that can be treated more expediently and at lower cost in a primary care setting.
The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act is smart, balanced legislation that passed in the House by an 88-51 margin and in the Senate by a margin of 29-18. The people of Maryland want paid sick days. We are counting on our representatives in Annapolis to deliver. We are joining with advocacy groups all across the state and calling on the Maryland Legislature to override this veto at the start of the 2018 Legislative session.