A substitute Senate paid sick leave bill yesterday was reported from the Senate Budget & Appropriations Committee and will move forward in the legislative process (S2171). The Assembly had approved a substitute PSL bill last week. (A1827). If New Jersey enacts a PSL law, it will be the tenth state in the nation to have done so.
Since thirteen New Jersey municipalities have already enacted PSL ordinances, a significant issue is whether the state law would be in addition to those ordinances or would preempt them. Both the Senate and Assembly bills have an identical provision that prohibits political subdivisions from adopting a PSL ordinance after the effective date of the state-wide law. That provision also appears to preempt the thirteen municipal PSL ordinances although, in my opinion, that language could have been drafted a bit more clearly. That provision states:
The governing body of a county or municipality shall not, after the effective date of this act, adopt any ordinance, resolution, law, rule, or regulation regarding earned sick leave. The provisions of this act shall preempt any ordinance, resolution, law, rule, or regulation regarding earned sick leave adopted by the governing body of a county or municipality.
The stars seem aligned for New Jersey to enact a PSL bill. Democrats have a 25-15 majority in the Senate. Democratic Governor Phil Murphy has said he supports PSL statewide.