The Albuquerque City Councilors voted last night to kick the can down the road and revisit the paid sick leave mandate in 2021. In a 5-4 vote, the issue was postponed by 60 days. City Councilor Trudy Jones said it would be “foolhardy” to vote without further vetting of the legislation, and that perhaps the state legislature might take action on a statewide sick leave policy in the upcoming 60 day session. Councilors Sena and Davis, who co-sponsored the proposal, pushed back saying that the need for paid sick leave is greater now than ever as Covid-19 rates soar and New Mexicans are still struggling to make their bills.
Councilor Jones motion to postpone the proposal was supported by Councilors Brook Bassan, Cynthia Borrego, Diane Gibson, and Don Harris. Councilor Isaac Benton and Klarissa Peña joined Sena and Davis in opposing the 60 day deferral of a vote. Multiple businesses and organizations were present to voice their dissatisfaction with the proposal, citing the damage done to regular business operations due to the effects of covid-19 related closure and restrictions. However, the Albuquerque City Council seems set on moving forward with this job killing proposal in spite of what it could mean for businesses. After the vote to defer Councilor Don Harris described paid leave as inevitable and said businesses should start working on a policy they could support or they would not like the alternative. “I really encourage (businesses) to get real. We’re going to have a sick leave ordinance … one way or another,” he said.
The Albuquerque City Councilors have, for years now, been trying to push this ordinance through. And with statements like that, apparently see it as an inevitability. NMBC hopes that these Councilors will listen to the businesses who stand to lose the most from this proposal – in the midst of unprecedented economic destruction, and see that it will only hurt the businesses who keep people employed. NMBC will continue to keep you updated on this issue as it progresses, and encourages you to reach out to your City Councilor to make your voice heard during the postponement of this short sighted proposal. Contact your city councilor HERE.
For more information on the City Council meeting from yesterday, click HERE.