Connecticut will become the only state in the nation to mandate paid sick leave — a dubious “first” for a state that’s in last place in the U.S. for job growth.

While other states are trying to improve their business climates, the paid sick leave mandate (SB 913) that gained final approval in the House this week is a major setback to many Connecticut employers struggling to stay competitive and create jobs. 

National media attention has already focused on the mandate that goes into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, and much of it is focusing on the obvious damage it will cause the state’s economy.

This only underscores the need for policymakers — especially during the fall special session on jobs—to redouble their efforts in improving Connecticut’s image as a place to do business.

Democratic lawmakers were lobbied heavily by the administration to approve SB 913. Votes were very close and debates lengthy in both the Senate and House.

The Senate vote was 18-17, with five Democrats joining Republicans (with one exception) in voting against it. In the final vote in the House, 16 Democrats joined Republicans in opposing the bill.

CBIA thanks the Republicans and Democrats who listened to the concerns of businesses, understood the bill’s impact on Connecticut’s economy and jobs, and voted against the bill. 

Private-sector employers were very clear about the mandate’s real costs—in dollars, disrupted workplaces, and harm to Connecticut’s image as a place to do business. Many lawmakers chose to listen to the voices of those other than the people who really create jobs. 

With Connecticut’s economy still in turmoil, mandatory paid sick leave will not be a help. For more information, contact CBIA’s Kia Murrell at 860.244.1931 or kia.murrell@cbia.com.