Today, the Maryland legislators who voted in favor of the Healthy Working Families Act (HB1) had their votes validated, as a new Mason-Dixon poll reveals widespread support for the legislation. The poll shows 74% of Maryland registered voters support requiring companies with at least 15 employees to provide five days of paid sick leave each year to full-time employees.
“This poll has confirmed what we already knew,” said Caryn York, Executive Director of the Job Opportunities Task Force (JOTF). “Marylanders from every corner of the state support this legislation, because no one should have to choose between their paycheck and their health. HB1 has broad support – 74% of women, 72% of African-Americans, and 59% of senior voters strongly support the Healthy Working Families Act.”
Although overwhelmingly supported by Maryland voters and legislators, Governor Hogan vetoed the paid sick days bill in the last legislative session. However, given the strong support this poll reveals and the veto-proof majority the bill passed with in the Legislature, the Governor’s short-sighted veto is expected to be overridden when the Legislature reconvenes in January. Overriding the veto would expand access to earned sick days to more than 700,000 Maryland families.
“Maryland lawmakers stood with working families when they passed sick leave, and we’re counting on them to stand with working families again and override the Governor’s veto,” said Pat Murray, spokesman for Our Maryland. “This is just the latest in a series of polls showing an overwhelming majority of Marylanders don’t want to be forced to choose between taking care of a loved one or losing their job.”
The Mason-Dixon poll, conducted at the end of September, interviewed 625 Maryland registered voters. Across gender, racial, county, age and even party lines, the support for paid sick days is strong. In Prince George’s county, the poll shows support of paid sick days at over 80%, in Central Maryland that support is at 82%, while on the Eastern Shore and Southern Maryland, paid sick days is supported by 60% voters. In addition, paid sick days is supported by 59% of registered Republicans, 64% of Independents, and 85% of Democrats.