COLUMBUS (WCMH)- On Monday a group of House Democrats penned a letter to Governor Mike DeWine urging him to create a temporary paid sick leave program to encourage individuals with the coronavirus to stay home. 

In the letter, it says “We know that 13.9% of Ohioans live in poverty and the most common work these individuals do includes jobs in the food, retailer and nursing industries.” These representatives are concerned that these people will not stay home if sick and will ultimately spread the illness to people with compromised immune systems. 

The Ohio Health Department of Health is asking employers to be flexible with their sick leave polices but the letter states “there is no guarantee employers will grant this request, and at the same time, employees who live paycheck-to-paycheck and cannot afford to stay away from their jobs.” 

The Representatives are asking the Governor to create a temporary paid sick leave program. In the letter the reference several revenue sources they say are available: use general revenue funding now that a state of emergency has been called, Board’s Emergency Purposes Fund could be increased and then appropriated, the Budget Stabilization Fund or TANF funds. 

“We ask you to consider this request for the safety of all Ohioans, and we stand with you ready to assist in any way possible.”