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California lawmakers approve 2022 COVID-19 sick leave

The bill applies to companies with 26 employees or more. California had a similar law last year, but it expired in September.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The California Legislature has approved a bill requiring workers receive up to two weeks of paid time off if they get sick from the coronavirus. 

Employees are entitled to 40 hours of PTO going back to January, but this time, there's no federal money to offset the cost. Asm. Vince Fong (R), Vice Chair of the Budget Committee, said without help from the federal government, the cost could be troublesome.

“Members, why not offset these costs with a state tax credit or exemption? The legislative analyst's office provided estimates of $500 million to over a billion dollars of costs borne entirely by businesses and nonprofits statewide. There was no relief provided for this,” Fong told assembly members.

Chairman Phil Ting (D) said he recognizes that burden.

“I do want to align myself with some of the comments my vice chair made to ensure that the small businesses who definitely need financial relief, get that relief," Ting said. "We were not able to get that into this proposal. But something that we continue to talk about. We really would love to see that in the June budget proposal.”

Despite cost concerns, lawmakers approved the bill Monday. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is expected to sign it into law. 

The bill applies to companies with 26 employees or more. California had a similar law last year, but it expired in September.

Lawmakers also approved big tax cuts for businesses that would save them about $5.5 billion. Those cuts were supposed to take effect next year, but lawmakers voted to make them this year.

Read the full AP story here.  

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Watch More: Gov. Newsom and California Legislature hope to bring back COVID-19 sick pay

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