Paid sick days drive starts today
Here's an AP story, followed by the press release announcing the 2 p.m. press conference:
From AP: Thursday is the deadline for state lawmakers to act on a proposed bill that would require most Ohio companies to provide workers with at least seven paid sick days each year.
The bill’s supporters say that, without action by legislators, they plan to collect enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot in November.
The coalition had collected 268,000 signatures to submit the Ohio Healthy Families Act to the Legislature. It would need an additional 120,683 valid signatures to place the measure before voters.
The bill would affect businesses with 25 or more employees. It is heavily supported by organized labor, whose members tend to vote overwhelmingly Democratic.
From Ohioans for Healthy Families
Columbus - The 200 member Ohioans for Healthy Families coalition is set to announce its plan to take paid sick days to the November ballot.
WHAT: PAID SICK DAYS NEWS CONFERENCE
WHEN: 2:00PM, THURSDAY, MAY 8, 2008
WHERE: PROGRESS OHIO HQ (251 S. 3rd Street, Cols)
Ignoring the 270,000 Ohio voters who signed petitions calling for enactment of paid sick day legislation, the Ohio General Assembly has failed to pass or even vote on the Ohio Healthy Families Act within the time allotted under the "initiated statute" provision of the state Constitution. Accordingly, the coalition sponsoring the legislation will begin gathering the additional petition signatures necessary to place the measure directly on the November, 2008 ballot.
Said Communications Director Dale Butland:
"It's hard to imagine how the leadership of the General Assembly could have been more disdainful of the 2.2 million Ohio workers and families who lack paid sick days and were counting on their elected representatives to help them out. Since receiving the Healthy Families Act in early January, those who control the legislature have given the bill exactly one pro forma hearing, cancelled two others, and refused to schedule a vote.
Though many individual legislators have made it clear that they support and would vote for paid sick days ---and though polls show overwhelming public support for such legislation ----the leadership's message to the voters is clear: 'Drop Dead.'
And since a ballot fight is clearly what they want, a ballot fight is what they will get. At Thursday's news conference, OEA Vice President Bill Leibensperger will explain why the Ohio Education Association has decided to join the fight, and small business owner John Semachko of Cleveland will relate his personal experience with granting paid sick days to his company employees. Coalition Campaign Manager Brian Dunn will detail the next steps in the campaign to bring paid sick days to hardworking Ohio families.
And to the hypocrites in the General Assembly who enjoy paid sick days themselves at taxpayer expense but refuse to pass it for others, we say: 'buckle up.'"