Several years ago, the Ohio legislature made a half-hearted effort at putting a mandatory paid sick leave law on the books.

The effort barely gained any traction and the Ohio General Assembly never voted on the measure.

A special interest group then mounted a failed attempt to take the issue to a referendum. That referendum effort generated an exhaustive study by researchers at Cleveland State University.

Their findings should be a must-read for lawmakers considering Connecticut's paid sick leave bill, SB 913.

The report found the proposal would cost Ohio between $102.9 million and $420 million annually.

"This estimated range is the minimum impact on the state," researchers wrote in the report. "It does not include the dynamic, economic development impacts.

"Our cost benefit analysis looks at the short run impacts and does not include longer-term negative effects that result from Ohio losing investment to border states as companies seek to avoid the mandates."

The report ran 40 pages and its conclusions (which assumed passage of the referendum) included the following:

  • It would have been harder to attract and retain business investment in the state of Ohio;
  • It would have promoted the perception that Ohio does not have a business-friendly climate;
  • Economic development attraction activities would have also been burdened by the fact that business operating costs would be increased when compared to nearby states;
  • It would have increased business operating risks, especially for manufacturers and others with interdependent team-based operations;
  • It would have been particularly burdensome, disruptive, and harmful to the state’s small- and mid-sized manufacturing establishments;

"In sum, the proposal to mandate paid sick and family-care leave days would have been bad for Ohio’s economy and bad for some of Ohio’s workers," the report concluded.