This week the NYS legislature voted and passed a bill that provides paid sick leave due to COVID-19. Assemblyperson Marjorie Byrnes and Steven Hawley both voted yes. Senator Borrello voted no. All have good reasons and they were kind enough to share their reasons for the public to hear.No one works harder than Assemblyperson Marjorie Byrnes. Each day her calendar is full with her attending different functions. Further, as the owner of two papers, I can attest that many of our readers have commented that she makes herself available if someone wants to reach her. If fact I have not received one missive otherwise. She voted yea and here is her reasoning:” I voted “yes” for the Paid Sick Leave Due to COVID-19. The bill requires employers to provide sick leave benefits to employees who are under a mandatory or precautionary order of quarantine by the Department of Health. These individuals are under a health order not to Leave their homes. The National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB), the largest association of small businesses in the country, supported this emergency measure. Requiring sick leave in these unprecedented times is appropriate. “
Similarly, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) also is reknown for his hard work ethic. He has been in office for 12 years and continues to take seriously his quest to represent his area, Hawley supported the bipartisan bill A.10153 that will extend financial coverage to individuals under government-mandated quarantine for COVID-19, or coronavirus. The bill temporarily expands eligibility for the state’s paid family leave program to include coverage for individuals under government-mandated quarantine and unable to work.
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“I’m glad to see that a reasonable compromise could be reached in the face of this healthcare crisis,” Hawley said. “Our job as legislators is to ease the lives of the citizens we represent, and in a time when jobs are on the line, money is a concern and the future seems uncertain, this is one step toward making the survival of this crisis easier.”
Meanwhile Senator Borrello voted no and he has expressed sound reasoning also. Here are his comments:
” … without a doubt, the ill-advised legislation authored by Senate Democrats and passed yesterday will amplify the financial stress these small business owners are experiencing during this unprecedented crisis.
“While there is some consolation that last-minute changes to the bill narrowed its scope and removed some of the most damaging provisions, nonetheless, there was a better option. We introduced legislation that would have supported workers under mandatory or precautionary quarantine by making them eligible for compensation through the paid family leave program. This legislation was not considered, nor were any measures that would have sought to help both employers and employees cope with the hardships of this crisis.
“Instead, what was presented to us just minutes before we were required to vote on it was a measure that does not distinguish between full-time, part-time or seasonal employees. A bill that was fair, equitable and workable would have scaled paid sick leave in terms of full-time equivalents (FTEs). This failure to make distinctions has resulted in a bill that will unfairly burden small business owners with sick leave costs disproportionate to the size and income of their operations. Democrats failed to recognize that their legislation forcing a short-term payout to employees could have the very long-term result of forcing many of these already-struggling businesses to close their doors forever. That is why I voted ‘no’.”