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BPAA State Policy Update - November 17

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LABOR

Lexology reports, New York City Expands Types of Leave Covered by Paid Sick Leave Law -- Slightly one year after the New York City Council introduced a bill that would expand the city's paid sick leave requirements to cover "safe time" leave, Mayor Bill de Blasio signed it into law on November 6, 2017. The law, Int. 1313-A, expands the list of covered reasons for which paid sick leave can be used to include “when the employee or a family member has been the victim of a family offense matter, sexual offense, stalking, or human trafficking.” As a result, many existing provisions have been amended to address safe time use, including documentation, confidentiality and notice to employees. Additionally, the law expands the list of covered family members for whom paid sick and safe leave can be used. The law takes effect on May 5, 2018, which is 180 days after the bill becomes law.

MINIMUM WAGE

Maryland: Maryland’s most populous county, Montgomery County, will raise its minimum wage to $15 an hour under a bill signed Nov. 13 by County Executive Ike Leggett (D). Beginning in 2018, businesses in the Washington, D.C., suburb will see annual increases in the minimum wage from its current $11.50 until it $15 minimum wage in 2021. Employers with 11 to 50 employees will have until 2023 to begin paying $15. Businesses with 10 or fewer employees must pay $15 per hour beginning in 2024. Maryland’s statewide minimum wage on July 1 increased to $9.25. It’s due to jump to $10.10 per hour July 1, 2018.

Missouri: The hourly minimum wage is to increase to $7.85 from $7.70, effective Jan. 1, 2018, the state’s Department of Labor and Industrial Relations said Nov. 13 on its website. The announcement confirms the projected increase calculated Aug. 15 by Bloomberg Tax based on Bureau of Labor Statistics data issued on Aug. 11.

Minnesota: (Bloomberg Law) Minneapolis is set to defend its $15 minimum wage ordinance after a challenge by business interests, which asserted the city doesn’t have the authority to create a base wage higher than the Minnesota minimum wage. “The ordinance is well within the City’s authority to provide for the health and wellbeing of City workers. We will be vigorously defending against this suit,” Minneapolis city attorney Susan Segal told Bloomberg BNA in an email Nov. 14. The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce filed a lawsuit Nov. 10 in a state district court asking for a temporary and permanent injunction. The chamber argued that the Minneapolis ordinance is preempted by state law. Minneapolis’ ordinance, enacted by the city June 30, boosts the city’s minimum wage for employers with more than 100 workers to $10 per hour starting Jan. 1, 2018. It ramps that up to $15 per hour by July 1, 2022. Small businesses would have additional time to comply with the wage rules, but must begin paying the $15 wage by July 1, 2024. Minnesota’s current statewide minimum wage is $9.50 per hour and will increase to $9.65 on Jan. 1, 2018.

ALCOHOL

Wisconsin:The Morning Brew: Is 19 too young to drink?—“Wisconsin lawmakers are discussing legislation that would lower the state's legal drinking age from 21 to 19. There are plenty of hurdles. For starters, Wisconsin could lose federal highway funding if they lower their drinking age. President Reagan signed the Minimum Age Drinking Act in 1984 and included in that law are provisions that tie federal highway funds to a state's legal drinking age. Also, MADD has come out strongly against it and the Wisconsin assembly speaker is not on board either. Proponents are leaning heavily on the "you can go off to war at 18 but can't buy a drink" argument and oddly, that it might help curb teenage binge drinking.”

Michigan: The keg tagging policy one lawmaker calls "a failed experiment" will be no more in Michigan. On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation to repeal a law passed in 2010 to put additional restrictions on keg sales in an attempt to curb excessive and underage drinking, particularly among college students. Under that law, which took effect in 2011, any keg buyer had to sign a receipt that listed their name, address and phone number and show identification upon purchase. The law also imposed a $30 keg deposit -- which couldn't be claimed upon return unless the keg tag remained intact -- and made removing a keg tag a misdemeanor punishable by up to 93 days in jail and up to a $500 fine.

Indiana: NWI Times reports, Commission tentatively endorses plan to legalize Sunday retail alcohol sales in Indiana -- The commission tasked with reviewing Indiana's alcohol laws tentatively agreed Tuesday that carryout alcohol retailers should be permitted to sell between noon and 8 p.m. on Sundays. Indiana is the only state in the country that prohibits all retail alcohol sales on Sundays. Members of the Alcohol Code Revision Commission said overwhelming public support for Sunday sales prompted them to endorse a preliminary draft of a legislative proposal authorizing Hoosiers to purchase carryout alcohol on Sundays. The commission's support for Sunday sales now is set to be incorporated in its final report to the General Assembly that's due for a commission vote Dec. 8. Commission members reviewed, but did not vote on, 19 other possible alcohol policy changes, including legalizing cold beer sales at grocery, drug and convenience stores. Currently, package liquor stores enjoy a monopoly on cold beer sales in Indiana. Many commissioners seemed reluctant to recommend expanding the availability of cold beer, especially at gas stations, due to the possibility that it will lead to more drunken driving in the state. In response, Boots pointed out that gas stations already can sell cold wine, and plenty of people buy cold beer at liquor stores, with no corresponding increase in drunken driving incidents or deaths in Indiana.

Missouri: Columbia Daily Tribune reports, City council wants more data for alcohol policy -- Proposed policies to curb binge drinking in Columbia were put on pause during the Columbia City Council meeting Monday. The city’s Substance Abuse Advisory Commission has suggested the city needs to regulate drink specials and eliminate bottomless cup offers in which customers pay a set price for unlimited drinks. Several council members said enforcement of liquor law violations should be prioritized before an ordinance enforcing alcohol restrictions is considered. Second Ward Councilman Michael Trapp said the council should consider adjusting the fees for liquor law violations. Council members also said more data is needed to consider an ordinance. Lt. Krista Shouse-Jones with the Columbia Police Department said the department sees a correlation between the bars that offer bottomless cup specials and crimes such as assault.

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