Ad battle on sick leave ordinance ensues as early voting inches closer

Voting

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – With just days until early voting begins, two sides are going full force with the Albuquerque sick leave ordinance that will appear on ballots.

If you’ve tuned into local radio stations recently, there’s a good chance you’ve heard ads either pro or anti the proposed Albuquerque sick leave ordinance.

One warns to not be fooled into saying ‘yes.’ The other tugs at the heartstrings of working parents.

“Mom, I’m sick. I can’t go to school,” a small child is heard saying.
“I know you don’t feel good mijita, but mommy can’t afford to miss work,” a woman replies.

That is an ad from the group Health Workforce ABQ encouraging voters to say yes on October 3 to the measure that would guarantee sick leave for workers in Albuquerque.

Meanwhile, another ad blasts back at the proposal, created by ‘ACHE,’ Albuquerque Coalition for a Healthy Economy.

“If passed, the proposed sick leave ordinance will result in fewer jobs,” the ad says, “Don’t be fooled.”

Each group is trying now, more than ever, to sway voters. The election may be October 3, but early voting begins Wednesday, Sept. 13.

The two sides even went head-to-head on NEWSRADIO KKOB Tuesday night in an hour-long debate.

“This is a job killer,” local lawyer Pat Rogers said on behalf of ‘ACHE.’ “Not only will this chase businesses out of the city, it will discourage anyone from taking over.”

Rogers argued that will be a major legal burden on business owners while local lawyer Elizabeth Wagoner said the measure will support our community’s hard-working families.

Both sides at least had one thing in common to say, encouraging listeners to read the full measure for themselves.

“This ordinance is based on ordinances that have been passed around the country and are working in other cities,” Wagoner said.

Summarized, the proposal says people who work at least 56 hours a year in Albuquerque – either full-time, part-time or temporary – will an hour of sick leave per 30 hours worked.

For employers of less than 40, an employee can use up to five days of accrued sick leave a year. For larger businesses, up to seven days.

After some back and forth with city councilors, the mayor and even a judge, it was decided that full text of the measure will be on the backside of the ballot in a rather small font to fit the seven-page text.

Read the full measure, here.

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