[Update: After six hours of debate, the senate passed the paid sick leave bill on an 18-17 vote. One Republican, Senator John Kissel of Enfield, joined with the Democratic majority to support the proposal, while five Democrats (Senators Gayle Slossberg of Milford, Paul Doyle of Wethersfield, Bob Duff of Norwalk, Joan Hartley of Waterbury and Andrew Maynard of Stonington) voted no.

Another Republican, Senator Len Fasano (North Haven) was absent.

CBIA's Joe Brennan said, "This is just a terrible piece of legislation. This is an anti-jobs, anti-business bill, despite what was said on the floor. We've done nothing — again, nothing — to encourage businesses to grow in Connecticut.'']

Shortly after midday today, Connecticut's Senate began what was expected to be a marathon debate on the mandatory paid sick leave bill (SB 913).

Of any bill that's surfaced during the 2011 General Assembly, none more clearly illustrates the widening gap between lawmakers' election campaign pledges and their legislative actions.

Along with the so-called captive audience bill (HB 5460), SB 913 sends a contrary message to the legislative session's current  "open for business" theme.

"This is a bad bill," said the Senate Deputy Minority Leader Rob Kane (R-Waterbury). "And it hurts good people."

Senator Edith Prague (D-Columbia), who is shepherding the bill through the legislature, opened the debate with an amendment that ostensibly limits the legislation's scope to service workers.

However, the broad language in that amendment likely will do little to limit the bill's impact to service industries.

Senate Minority Leader John McKinney (R-Fairfield) said the amendment only "highlighted the bill's inconsistencies."

"This [legislation] sends the message that Connecticut is not friendly to business," McKinney said.

"We continue to pile on mandates and costly burdens on our businesses. And then we turn around and say: 'Why are they leaving?'"

More than 120 listed amendments await consideration, guaranteeing that debate on the bill will last late into the afternoon.