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Poll: More Albuquerque voters favor sick leave ordinance

Michelle Donaldson
September 10, 2017 11:45 PM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- If voters give it a thumbs-up, Albuquerque would enact the most far-reaching sick leave law in America.

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A coalition of community groups is pushing the sick leave measure. It would require companies with operations in Albuquerque to pay for employee sick time, even part-time workers and temps.

Time needed to care for an employee's family member is included. If the employee or family member is a victim of domestic violence or stalking, they can get time off too. If a business requires a doctor's note, the company has to pay for the doctor's visit.

Business groups fought and failed to keep it off the ballot, and they won't like the results of a new poll by Carroll Strategies.

"If the election were held today, by a margin of 46 percent to 31, people who are expressing their votes in these polls are saying that they would support the ballot measure to require sick leave," said Tom Carroll, president of Carroll strategies.

Tom Carroll says with another 22 percent still undecided, Burqueños should prepare for the campaigns to really heat up on this issue.

"Our business community is very much against this. Most of the major players in town are saying this will cost jobs," he said. "But it's an emotional issue, and if people don't know much about it they say, 'Well, of course, people should have sick leave.'"

Healthy Workforce ABQ released this statement in response to the poll:

It's clear that Albuquerque voters believe that hard working people shouldn't have to choose between a paycheck and taking time off to get well or care for a sick child or family member. When workers can earn sick days, it not only prevents the spread of illness but also financial hardship for those who can’t afford to lose a day’s pay. Unfortunately, there are about 107,000 workers who do not have access to earned sick days in Albuquerque. We know the more we look out for our workers, the more healthy and independent our families can be, and the more our local economy can thrive. Over 24,000 Albuquerque voters signed the petition to get the Proposed Ordinance for Earned Sick Days on the ballot. On October 3, we need everyone to look at the back of the ballot and vote FOR the proposed ordinance so hard working families can take time off to care for themselves or a loved one.

Terri Cole, president of the Greater Albuquerque Chamber of Commerce, also weighed in.

"In a campaign like this, the support hits a high-water point and only goes down from there," she said. "We have plenty of time to educate voters that the "sick ordinance" is bad for Albuquerque. Workers lose. Customers lose. The only winners are special interests."

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Michelle Donaldson

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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