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Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Update on Ohio Health Families Act

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the Ohio legislature is balking at the Ohio Health Families Act in its current form. The legislature has until May 8 to pass the OHFA. If it does not, Sick Days Ohio, the Union-led coalition of 180 different groups that sponsored the measure, would be entitled to circulate a petition to gather 120,683 signatures to qualify the law for placement on the fall ballot. A recent Columbus Dispatch poll shows that Sick Days Ohio likely would not have much problem obtaining those signatures. According to the poll, 76% of registered Democrats and 45% of registered Republicans favor the OHFA, while only 15% of Democrats and 44% of Republicans oppose it.

This wide bipartisan public support likely means that the OHFA will appear on November's ballot and will probably pass by a comfortable margin. In other words, Ohio's businesses better prepare themselves for the likely prospect of mandatory paid sick leave beginning in 2009.