Gov. Larry Hogan Monday called on Salisbury business leaders to pressure lawmakers to sustain his veto of the legislature’s paid sick leave bill.
Hogan delivered the speech to a lunch gathering of the city’s chamber of commerce. The remarks were in many ways identical to those he delivered during a June 6 business summit in Baltimore except that this time it was on the Eastern Shore in a Senate district where paid sick leave could become a campaign issue.
Hogan received strong applause when he referred to his veto of House Bill 1.
“We’re going to need everyone in this room to assist us in this fight because there are folks in the legislature who really don’t care about small business and are going to continue to push this,” Hogan told the business crowd. “We’re going to need your help to try and stop them from overriding this commonsense veto.”
Much of Salisbury is represented by Sen. Jim Mathias, D-Eastern Shore.
Hogan never mentioned Mathias but the implication was clear.
Mathias was one of 29 Democrats who voted in favor of a bill that will require businesses with 15 or more employees to offer at least five days of paid sick leave.
Supporters of the bill will need to hold all of the Senate Democrats who voted for the bill when a veto override is taken up in 2018.
Mathias is likely to find himself under pressure to vote to sustain Hogan’s veto of the bill with the 2018 campaign on the horizon. The former mayor of Ocean City is in his second term in the Senate and could face a stiff challenge as Hogan and Republicans seek to pick up as many as five seats.
One possible contender is Del. Mary Beth Carroza, who is rumored to be mulling a run against Mathias.
Mathias, for his part, has told business groups in the area that the sick leave bill was likely to pass and his support allowed him to negotiate on other issues important to his district.
“I could vote no, or I could vote yes and advocate for the business community,” Mathias told Ocean City Today earlier this month.
Supporters of the legislation also plan to make the issue, and Hogan’s veto, a campaign issue.
In May, union leaders and other groups said they planned to focus on Hogan’s opposition to the bill and push for voters to cast him out of office in 2018.