AUGUSTA (AP) — Democrats want to advance a universal sick leave bill despite opposition from Republicans on a legislative committee.

The Legislature’s Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee this week voted 5-4 in favor of the bill.

Two other Republicans and two Democrats who weren’t present have until Thursday to cast their votes.

The bill is set to head to the Senate for an initial vote.

Democratic Sen. Rebecca Millett’s bill would let employees use accrued sick leave to care for themselves or immediate family.

The legislation would require companies with at least 50 employees to offer paid sick leave.

The Maine State Chamber of Commerce says the bill would increase the cost of doing business.

Millett says four states and the District of Columbia have a right to paid sick leave.

Maine State House is the state capitol of the State of Maine in Augusta, Maine, USA.

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