With a clothesline of onesies and the state Capitol as their backdrop the Working Families Party, Momsrising.org, and other advocates called on the General Assembly to pass the Paid Sick Day legislation Wednesday when it convenes for a one-day special session.
The bill which would allow employees to earn up to 6.5 sick days per year died on the House calendar during the regular legislation session last month.
Rep. Kevin Ryan, D-Oakdale, said time ran out during the regular legislative session and while the House wanted to take it up, it was afraid the debate on the bill would get cut short on the last day of the session as the legislature tried to finish as much business as possible.
Jon Green, executive director of the Working Families Party, said when the House decided not to take up the bill on the last day it was agreed to that it would be added to the special session agenda, if it wasn’t passed during the regular session.
But Democratic leadership in both the House and the Senate have said Paid Sick Days is not part of their game plan Wednesday.
Rep. David McCluskey, D-West Hartford, said the bill passed the Senate twice, the House Democratic caucus discussed it privately before the end of the regular session and there was consensus “we were going to do it.”
But Senate President Donald Williams, D-Brooklyn, said “No,” to Paid Sick Days. He said Speaker of the House James Amann has made it very clear the call for the special session is narrow.
Sen. John Fonfara, D-Hartford, said if the state decided to take away legislators paid sick days “there would be outrage.” Sen. Edith Prague, D-Columbia, who has championed the bill, said the bill has already passed the Senate twice so passing it a third time should be easy.
A similar bill was recently passed by on chamber of California’s legislature.