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ABQ sick leave measure to stay on ballot

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The state Supreme Court has rejected an emergency petition to remove the proposed sick leave ordinance from the city of Albuquerque’s municipal ballot, meaning that voters will decide that initiative on Oct. 3.

Justices denied the emergency petition in an order issued late Friday afternoon.

If approved by voters, the Healthy Workforce Ordinance would require employers to allow workers to earn paid sick time off. It would apply to full-time, part-time and temporary workers at any business with a physical presence in Albuquerque.

Albuquerque attorney Pat Rogers filed a lawsuit on behalf of the Association of Commerce and Industry and several other clients alleging that the proposed ordinance is “a form of voter fraud” known as logrolling and that home rule municipalities like Albuquerque do not have the power to enact voter-initiated legislation.

State District Judge Shannon Bacon rejected those arguments and dismissed the lawsuit. Rogers subsequently appealed to the Supreme Court, asking it to keep the proposed ordinance off the ballot. Justices didn’t specify a reason for rejecting the emergency petition, although that is not unusual in cases like this.

The petition was dismissed “without prejudice,” meaning that a regular appeal on Bacon’s ruling can be filed at a later date.