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California likely to extend paid sick leave amid pandemic

(KYMA, KECY/ AP News) - Under a proposal endorsed Tuesday by California Governor Gavin Newsom and the state’s top legislative leaders, California workers would get up to two weeks of paid time off if they get sick from the Coronavirus.

Also, businesses would get up to $6 billion in tax cuts and other assistance.

California had a similar law in place last year, but it expired in September as the spread of the virus slowed significantly. With the surge of the Omicron variant, it has since made labor unions pressure state officials to bring the paid sick leave law back.

Business groups have opposed the extra sick leave as many industries are already struggling to retain workers during the pandemic. Last year, businesses could get a federal tax credit to offset some of the costs. But that tax credit is not available this year.

Instead, Newsom and legislative leaders have agreed to end some some tax increases on businesses. These tax increases were imposed in 2020 at the start of the pandemic when state officials feared they were headed toward a major budget deficit. Instead, state revenues have soared during the pandemic.

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Cole Johnson

Cole grew up in a small town of just over 3,000 people called Moravia, NY—home of President Millard Fillmore and Fillmore Glen State Park.

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