We told you earlier this week that a coalition of unions and community groups were able to move a paid sick leave bill to near fruition in New York City, while we also brought you a column by Ellen Bravo, director of Family Values @ Work, that explored the momentum behind the growing paid sick leave drive in cities across the country.
Today, we have to tell you the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC)—with an assist from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R)—is supplying right-wing and corporate-backed state lawmakers with what one Florida lawmaker, an ALEC member, describes as “kill-shots” to stop cities and counties from enacting paid sick leave laws, and even eliminating the rights of voters to approve such referendums.
Big business has lobbied the statehouses, in many cases successfully, to disregard 'local control' and nullify and permanently pre-empt paid sick leave ordinances passed at the local level. And the legislation appears to have spread, thanks to a bill promoted and passed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, and shared at an ALEC meeting in 2011.
She says that bill that nullified a Milwaukee paid sick days ordinance, which was passed overwhelmingly by a popular vote, has become the ALEC model bill that has been distributed to anti-sick leave legislators around the nation.
Sick leave preemption bills have spread across the country since the August 2011 ALEC meeting where Wisconsin's bill was shared. In 2012, a sick leave preemption bill was introduced in Tennessee and became law in Louisiana, and in 2013, similar bills have been introduced in Florida, Washington, Mississippi, Michigan, Arizona, Indiana and Oklahoma.
Read Bottari’s full report that also outlines the corporations and business groups that are coalescing around the anti-paid sick leave campaigns.