Court Rejects Albuquerque Healthy Workforce Ordinance Challenge

One day after hearing argument on the challenges to the constitutionality of the proposed Healthy Workforce Ordinance, the judge rejected them all, clearing the way for the October 3 ballot initiative to proceed. Subject to an appeal, of course.

A cadre of business interests had claimed that the HWO violated the state constitution because it violated the “single subject” rule, i.e., was impermissible logrolling; exceeded a home rule municipality’s authority and the territorial reach of the City; and because ordinances may not be enacted by voter initiative. The Intervenor-Defendants, representing employees without earned sick leave and HWO proponents, had moved to dismiss all of these arguments.  In a 10 page opinion, District Court Judge C. Shannon Bacon granted that motion.

courthouse-1223280_640Last week, a judge in the proponents’ HWO litigation issued a decision concerning the logistics of the ballot.  With the HWO opponents’ litigation now dismissed, no obstacles stand in the way of the ballot initiative on October 3, approximately seven weeks from now, although appeals are possible in both litigations.

Regular visitors to my blog are familiar with my axiom about paid sick leave voter initiatives: whenever voters are asked whether they would like paid time off from work, they will say ‘yes.’ My axiom proved true in, for example, Arizona, Washington, Massachusetts, Milwaukee (since preempted), Oakland and San Diego, CA, SeaTac, Trenton and Montclair, NJ.  Will it hold true in Albuquerque as well?