FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 3, 2016
Lt. Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement on the Senate’s passage of H.187, an act relating to absence from work for health care and safety:
“While I appreciate the concessions made on paid sick leave over the last four years, this bill is not perfect. I would have preferred to see the additional exemptions for small businesses offered by amendment today in the Senate.
“The timing of this legislation is unfortunate for Vermont’s small businesses who are struggling in light of the numerous mandates the Legislature has imposed on our businesses over the last few years, one example being mandating enrollment in Vermont Health Connect despite the fact that Vermont is the only state in the nation which enacted this for businesses with fewer than 50 employees. These types of mandates further Vermont’s reputation as being unfriendly to the challenges of building a small business.
“However, under the leadership of Senator Mullin, the Senate worked in partnership with the business community to address some of their concerns, and added a number of their key recommendations. The result is a compromise that is limited in scope, allows for flexibility and expands sick leave to many Vermonters who don’t have it today.
“It is my hope that the economically essential concessions made to the job creators, and the compromise achieved in the dialogue are enhanced, or at least preserved, when the bill returns to the House for consideration. If the bill reaches final passage, it is imperative that these new mandates be clearly and quickly communicated to every single Vermont business so they can understand what is expected of them, rather than find out at a later date that they weren’t in compliance and facing penalties.”