HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) - Connecticut has become the first state to require businesses to offer employees paid sick time.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy announced Tuesday that he signed the law requiring businesses in the service industry with 50 or more employees to allow workers to accrue one hour of sick time for every 40 hours worked. The law takes effect Jan. 1.

Backers estimate that 200,000 to 300,000 workers will benefit.

The legislation narrowly passed the Senate in late May on an 18-17 vote. It was approved in June by the House after more than 11 hours of debate. Malloy signed the bill into law Friday.

Malloy made his support a campaign issue last year, saying it was to safeguard public health.

Businesses say the legislation will make Connecticut less competitive with other states.

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