After a brief but emotional public hearing, Orange County commissioners took no action today on the sick-time initiative, which means that short of court intervention the proposal will not be on the Nov. 6 ballot.
Supporters said they have filed an emergency injunction to the three-judge panel considering their case but it was unclear if the court would consider it. Today is the deadline for printing the ballot.
Protesters dressed in black left flowers in front of Mayor Teresa Jacobs’ desk as they rose to speak, saying they represented “the death” of democracy.
“I don’t see a board of commissioners,” said Holly Fussell, 19. “I see a board of special interest groups.”
After the hearing, Jacobs defended the commission’s position, saying it was the county’s responsibility to make sure the ballot title and summary were clear and that more time was needed for that task.
The three-judge panel’s ruling on Monday appeared to support proponents’ argument for the sick-measure to be on the ballot Nov. 6. But more significantly, it also gave Orange County leaders up to 20 days to respond.
If placed on the ballot and approved by voters, the initiative would require many employers to offer paid sick time to their employees in Orange County. Opponents say it would too expensive to enact.
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