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In an op-ed piece published in this morning’s Washington Post, Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott continues to attack the Maryland law requiring it to contribute a percentage of its payroll costs to health care benefits or pay the difference in a fine to the government. However, he also declares that Wal-Mart will not leave Maryland because of the ruling.

Some excerpts:

If we closed our doors in Maryland, a lot of things would happen, and none of them would be good for the working families of this state. Seventeen thousand associates work for us in Maryland. Every one of them -- both full-time and part-time -- can become eligible for health coverage that costs as little as $23 per month. Our stores here collect $112 million in sales taxes and generate $13 million more in tax revenue for state and local governments. We buy $678 million worth of goods and services from 667 Maryland suppliers. Thanks to our foundation and good works in our stores, we donate $3.7 million to local charities in Maryland. And when it comes to our customers, we save the average household more than $2,300 per year by offering the products people want at affordable prices in one convenient place.

We think those are valuable things we do for the working families of Maryland. And we're planning to do more. We will build more stores, create more jobs, offer even more affordable health care, generate more tax revenue, do more business with suppliers and give more money to local charities. Though the General Assembly passed a bill that affects our company and our company alone, we will not flinch in our commitment to our customers, our associates and the communities we serve. Working families want us in Maryland, and we're staying in Maryland.

A lot of people also think -- and we agree -- that legislation of this type will cost jobs. We will do our best to make sure that doesn't happen at our company. Last year we created 125,000 jobs nationwide -- many of them in neighborhoods that desperately need jobs. Just as an example, after the recent announcement of a new store in Chicago, we received 25,000 applications for just 325 jobs. We'll work hard to continue to find opportunities to serve our customers and operate more efficiently. This will generate more sales and savings for our company. But will other companies be able to do the same and absorb the higher cost of employing their workers? With other state legislatures considering bills that apply to more and more companies in addition to Wal-Mart, we may find out, and unfortunately the result won't be good for working families.
KC's View: