Senate Republicans vote down bills protecting workers

state-capitol2This afternoon, the Republican-controlled Senate Committee on Commerce & Labor voted to defeat two bills that would have helped families to lead the kind of secure, dignified, healthy lives that all hardworking Virginians deserve.

Sen. Lynwood Lewis’ (D – Accomac) SB 1407, a bill to guarantee workers paid sick leave, failed in a party-line vote of 11-4.Sen. Kenny Alexander’s (D – Norfolk) SB 1363, a bill to ensure that Virginians do not lose access to affordable health insurance if the Supreme Court rules that subsidies cannot be offered on Virginia’s existing health exchange, failed on a near-party-line vote.

Said Sen. Lewis, “Virginians who work hard and play by the rules shouldn’t have to worry that they’ll lose their jobs because of illnesses over which they have no control — and they shouldn’t have to come in to work when they’re contagious, or when they simply need time to heal. I’m disappointed that Republicans today chose to defeat my bill instead of standing with working families.”

Said Sen. Alexander, “Depending on what the Supreme Court chooses to do in King v. Burwell, hundreds of thousands of Virginians could lose access to quality, affordable health insurance. My bill would have given us a path forward if that were to happen. I’m disappointed that it did not pass.”

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