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BPAA Federal Policy Update - December 4

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LABOR

Proposed National Paid Leave and Flexible Work Options Law Will Preempt State Leave Laws, read more here. Three Republicans from the House of Representatives hailing from states with paid family and sick leave laws have sponsored the Workflex in the 21st Century Act, signaling increasing frustration with the complexities of multi-state compliance. Representatives Mimi Walters of California, Elise Stefanik of New York, and Cathy McMorris Rodgers of Washington have pitched a bill that would exempt employers who offer certain amounts of paid time off from complying with state paid leave laws. In its current form, the bill would serve to drastically reduce employee access to paid leave, but would also grant employees alternative work arrangements, known as “workflex” options.

FOOD & BEVERAGE

A poll in Arizona shows that voters would support a soda tax if the funds were earmarked for education. The state continues to grapple with ways to fund education going forward. Particularly the $600 million a year hole the voter-approved $0.06 sales tax would leave when it expires in 2021. In Oregon‘s Multnomah County, the soda tax campaign is on hold until November 2018 in hopes of more favorable voter turnout. Meanwhile in Illinois, the soda tax is being wound down and some initial opponents are experiencing repeal remorse. A Mississippi poll found 72 percent support for raising cigarette and alcohol taxes to help fill the state’s $70 million revenue gap.

Notes:

We will be sending an extensive tax update pending the Senate’s ability to bring the tax bill to a vote. 

On December 6 we will be monitoring a hearing in the House Education and the Workforce Subcommittee on Health, Employment, Labor, and Pensions called "Workplace Leave Policies: Opportunities and Challenges for Employers and Working Families.” We will provide any notable information that comes out of this hearing in our next update.

MBS Tax Reform Update

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