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Initiative 300: Denver Votes No

Colorado Luis
Flickr - Creative Commons

Denver voters were asked to decide if business should be required to offer mandatory sick leave to their workers. Initiative 300 was endorsed by labor unions and restaurant workers – but not by owners and business interests. And in the end voters overwhelmingly said “no”. Colorado Public Radio’s Eric Whitney has more.

Erin Bennett, a leader of the campaign for paid sick days addressed supporters just 38 minutes after the polls closed.

“I'm sure you've all seen the news and seen the results as they've come in.”

Bennett's side lost, by nearly 30,000 votes. It was a defeat for a multi-state movement that won in San Francisco in 2007 and Seattle this fall.

“We learned that our opposition and big business lobbyists are determined to kill the momentum of paid sick days around the country, and Denver was the battleground for that,” Bennett said.

Both sides accused the other of bringing in outside money, and championed themselves as defenders of working people and small businesses. Kelly Brough, president of the Metro Denver Chamber of Commerce thanked local businesses for defeating the paid sick day’s measure.

“Thank Goodness. You all said to us that this initiative would hurt you, and it feels good to see it not pass in Colorado.”

Together, the two campaigns spent a little over a million dollars. Opponents outspent their rivals by two-to-one.

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