OFFICIAL Carroll CAN #CallToAction, #Local CallToAction for 6/20/17
ACTION: Respond to Governor Hogan's Call for input for the MD HB1: Maryland Healthy Working Families Act.
BACKGROUND: It is difficult to understand why Gov. Hogan has vetoed the “common sense legislation” provided in HB1: The Maryland Healthy Working Families Act of 2017. This bill, after several amendments and years in the making, passed the House with 79 delegates sponsoring it and a vote tally of 87 to 53. The Senate compliment passed at 29 to 18. When the bill reached his desk, the Governor stated that this bill was dead on arrival. He is quoted on government websites, The Washington Post, The National Law Review, The Baltimore Sun, US and World Reports, amongst others, using inflammatory language to disabuse this law. His claims are that “sensible” law needs to be derived to protect small businesses as well as employees. The Governor has touted his version of a law to do just that. It incentivizes small business owners (on the backs of taxpayers) to provide them additional funding, in the form of a tax break on their first $20,000 of income, IF they do provide paid leave programs. It is heavily pro-business, while leaving the details of protecting individual workers to whims of profits.
Since the legislators and Governor Hogan couldn't agree on a paid/unpaid leave bill, he signed 3 executive orders to pursue “appropriate legislation”. One of the orders created a committee to look at this legislation. This committee, The Committee on Paid Leave Policy of The Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation is directed by Secretary Kelly M. Schulz. They have developed a survey which was also decreedby executive order.
Currently, the survey from the Department of Labor is being circulated. This survey appears highly problematic. It requests personal information such as a person’s name, email address, employer, employment status all without benefit of remaining private. And it doesn't ask any questions pertaining to family leave needs and preferences. Rather it merely asks, if, as an employee you currently receive paid leave or as an employer if you provide it. One question. That is the extent of the data gathering. No meaning behind it. And nowhere on the form is there a place for comments. The implication is, “Don't call us, we’ll call you….. if we want to hear from you.”
TAKE ACTION: Express your concerns. Give concrete feedback as to why the original bill, which passed with overwhelming majority, is valid. Tell them the Executive Order doesn't provide the necessary guidance for an appropriate survey. AND the survey itself is greatly flawed.
CALL AND WRITE TO:
1). Governor Hogan's office: (410) 974-3901
2). Secretary Kelly Shultz. 410-230-5000. Request to speak to her office when you call this number.
Tell whoever answers this is regarding the paid leave survey.
3). Your State Delegates and State Senators: find contact Information here:
Dear _______________. (Governor Hogan, Senator_________ Delegate___________or Secretary Schultz……)
I am concerned because the the Governor has vetoed the very important Maryland Healthy Working Families Act. This bill is the common sense legislation we have been needing in The State of Maryland. Governor Hogan is leaving working people way low in the priorities for this bill; He is showing preferences to small and large business owners. Further, the Department of Labor Survey is a problem. It doesn't gather useful information for understanding the complexities of worker/employer issues with paid leave/unpaid leave. It doesn't attempt to address the human equation of this issue. Please stop this worthless information gathering.…… make it a fair collection of information from all of the people.
House Bill 1, http://mgaleg.maryland.gov/2017RS/bills/hb/hb0001E.pdf
May 25, 2017. Gov Hogan responds to HB1 with executive orders.
Governor Hogan's Veto Letter for HB1, Maryland Healthy Working Families Act
Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation: Secretary Kelly M. Schulz
Washington Post Coverage of MD. HB1: dead on arrival
Committee on Paid Leave Policy