Business leaders in Washington, D.C., are urging Mayor Muriel Bowser to veto paid family leave legislation that passed in late December.
In a letter sent Wednesday, business associations like the Greater Washington Board of Trade, the D.C. Chamber of Commerce and other groups called on Bowser to veto the legislation that is “flawed and unnecessarily expensive,” the Washington Business Journal reports.
The legislation, passed Dec. 20, would mandate that employers provide eight weeks of paid family leave and six weeks to take care of a sick family member. Such a bill would make D.C. one of the most generous jurisdictions in the entire country. And as such, the bill has business associations worried about what that might mean for their bottom lines.
“In light of the financial implications to the District of Columbia of recent presidential Executive Orders, we, the undersigned coalition of leaders in the District of Columbia business community, respectfully urge you to veto the deeply flawed and unnecessarily expensive Bill 21-415, the ‘Universal Paid Leave Amendment Act of 2016,'” associations officials wrote. “We share your strong concern that the bill does not put DC residents first and given these new threats to the District’s financial future, it would be imprudent to advance this legislation into law until more is known of the broader financial risks.”
The associations listed four additional reasons as to why the bill would be damaging.
First, they claim that it would send $160 million annually to Virginia and Maryland residents, who simply commute into the District for work.
Second, the bill would make it more difficult to create jobs in the District.
Third, the bill puts employers at a competitive disadvantage.
And fourth, the associations are worried the bill will promote fraud and abuse.
The Washington Post’s editorial board has also come out against the bill, saying that it would increase taxes on D.C. businesses by $250 million and require the creation of a new sprawling bureaucracy.
While Bowser has already pledged to veto the legislation, the deadline of Feb. 16 is fast approaching.
Additionally, it remains to be seen whether the bill has enough support among council members to override a veto.
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