THE BRONX - Local officials are collecting signatures on a petition to support a bill that would give many workers paid sick time.

If passed, the bill will require small businesses to let their employees accumulate those sick days, but owners say the proposal is something they simply couldn't afford.

According to many working parents, the law would be a relief because they would no longer have to choose between losing a day's work and sending their child to school sick.

Representatives supporting the bill say a vote could come as soon as late September or early October.