SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

May 16, 2014

Benton: Sick leave bill could doom Mass. businesses

Chief Executive.net lists Massachusetts as only the 46th best state for business, citing taxes and regulations as one of its biggest drawbacks. And that perception will only worsen if Big Labor and its allies succeed in convincing voters to pass a first-in-the-nation bill mandating that employees be offered a minimum of two weeks’ sick leave per year.

“Employers need to have the flexibility to do what is right for them and their workers. They don’t need government to dictate what those policies should be,” Beverly’s Jon Hurst, president of the Retailers Association of Massachusetts told CNHI Statehouse reporter Christian Wade.

Should the trend toward increased regulation of business continue, Hurst warned, “Our main streets are eventually going to go dark.”

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Roll Call, which late last year listed North Shore Congressman John Tierney as one of the “10 most vulnerable” members of Congress in the 2014 election, has revised that view and now considers him “on relatively safer ground.”

Tierney’s own polling, according to insiders, shows him with a substantial lead over Democratic challengers Seth Moulton of Marblehead and Marisa DeFranco of Middleton, and with an approval rating much higher than those for President Barack Obama or Congress as a whole.

But none of Tierney’s opponents seem inclined to back off.

GOP challenger Richard Tisei recently cited a Rothenberg Political Report story in which the outlook for Tierney’s 6th District seat was changed from leaning Democrat to “toss-up/tilt Democrat,” while noting that Nancy Pelosi’s super PAC has reserved a chunk of TV time this fall presumably for the purpose of touting the incumbent’s candidacy and attacking his Republican opponent.

Meanwhile, Moulton Tuesday issued a blistering attack on Tierney’s record for helping veterans. In an event at the Bedford VA hospital, the former Marine termed the Salem Democrat “a do-nothing congressman who hasn’t passed one bill in 18 years.”

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