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BPAA Biweekly State Policy Updates - June 15, 2019

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BPAA is pleased to provide the following biweekly update on state policy. Please contact Tom Schreibel at tbschreibel@michaelbeststrategies.com if you have any questions or updates on activity in your state.

 

Visit BPAA’s website at http://bpaa.com/bpaa/government-affairs/government-affairs  to read previous federal and state policy updates.

 

 

MINIMUM WAGE & LABOR

  • States With $15 Minimum Wage Laws Doubled This Year: Three in 10 U.S. workers in states moving toward $15 minimum. Connecticut will become the seventh state to enact the pay standard that supporters call a “living wage.” Legislation to increase the state’s minimum to $15 by 2023 is awaiting action by Gov. Ned Lamont (D), who has promised to sign it. The state’s current minimum wage is $10.10. The Constitution State will join California, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York, as well as D.C., as the first wave of states to pass laws requiring a $15 minimum wage be in place by 2025 or earlier.
    • The year began with $15 minimum wage laws on the books in three states—California, Massachusetts, and New York—plus the District of Columbia.
    • That list quickly expanded as Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey enacted similar legislation in February and March. New Jersey’s wage floor is set to hit $15 per hour by 2024 for most employers, while Illinois and Maryland will see their minimum wage rise to that level in 2025.
    • Read More at Bloomberg Law
       
  • Florida Attorney wants to pass a law that would increase minimum wage in the state: Orlando attorney John Morgan continues to open his coffers to try to pass a constitutional amendment that would increase the minimum wage in Florida.
    • The Morgan Firm PA last month contributed $812,963 to the political committee Florida For A Fair Wage, which is collecting petition signatures to put the minimum-wage amendment on the November 2020 ballot, according to a new finance report posted on the state Division of Elections website.
    • Under the proposed amendment, the state’s minimum wage would go to $10 an hour on Sept. 30, 2021 and increase by $1 each year until it hits $15 an hour on Sept. 30, 2026. The state’s minimum wage this year is $8.46 an hour.
    • As of Monday evening, Florida For A Fair Wage had submitted 239,817 valid petition signatures to the state and awaits a review by the Florida Supreme Court of the proposed ballot wording. If the wording is cleared by the Supreme Court, the committee would need to submit an overall total of 766,200 signatures to get on next year’s ballot. Read more at 12 NEWS
       
  • NH House passes increase in minimum wage: CONCORD — The House and Senate have now both passed bills raising the minimum wage, but with differences that will have to be resolved before the bill gets to Gov. Chris Sununu, who has said he believes minimum wage policies are a federal and not a state issue. The House on Wednesday passed Senate Bill 10, increasing the minimum wage, currently at the federal minimum of $7.25 an hour, to $10 in 2021 and $12 in 2022, but amended the bill to remove an exemption for employers offering at least 10 paid sick days per year.
    • The bill passed the House along party lines, 209-139, with only three Republican votes. It will now go back to the Senate, which can either concur with the House changes or ask for a committee of conference in the hope of working out a compromise.
    • The House has already seen its version of a minimum wage law held up in the Senate, which re-referred HB 186 to committee on May 30, leaving SB 10 as the only option left standing. Both bills share the goal of getting to $12 an hour by 2022, but differ in some details, such as treatment of tipped employees. Read more at Union Leader
       
  • Sick Leave Takes Hold in Three Texas Cities: The majority of employers in San Antonio and Dallas have about seven weeks before citywide paid sick leave ordinances take effect. Austin, too, has a sick leave measure, but the state capital’s law remains in limbo pending the outcome of a lawsuit challenging the requirement.
    • Earned Time Off: Starting Aug. 1, companies in River City or Big D with more than five employees will have to provide those workers with earned paid time off for illness.
    • First in the South: Ten states, the District of Columbia, and some 16 other cities and counties require employers to provide their workers with some type of paid sick leave. The trio of Texas cities—the three biggest in the state behind Houston—are the first in the South to have successfully passed such ordinances.

 

  • Oregon could join California, Washington in universal paid family and medical leave: Oregon legislators took another stab at developing a paid family and medical leave policy, a top priority for both Democrats and Republicans who are quickly approaching the end of the session. House Bill 2005 passed out of the House Committee on Rules Thursday and will head next to the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. It has not yet received a floor vote in either chamber. The policy would allow up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new children, sick family members and victims of domestic violence, a number that was negotiated down from 32 weeks in an earlier bill. Read more at StatesmanJournal.

 

  • JDSupra reports – Nevada Enacts Minimum Wage Increase To $12 Per Hour: Nevada’s minimum wage will increase to $12.00 per hour (or $11.00 for employees offered health insurance) by mid-2024, based on a new bill signed into law by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. Beginning July 1, 2020, Nevada’s current minimum wage rates of $8.25 (without health insurance) and $7.25 (with health insurance) will increase by $0.75 to $9.00 and $8.00 respectively per hour, and will increase annually at that same rate until reaching $12.00 (or $11.00) per hour on July 1, 2024.
    • D.C.’s Economic Policy Institute estimates that about 300,000 Nevadans will be affected. At the signing, Governor Sisolak noted Nevada’s current minimum wage has not increased since 2010, and that “Keeping working Nevadans stuck in a 10-year-old minimum wage erodes the real value and purchasing power of the wages of hardworking Nevadans.” There are now only 21 states whose minimum wage is equal to or lower than the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour.

 

TAX RUNDOWN

  • Ohio legislature continues its trend of deep tax cuts. The state’s Senate Finance Committee recently released a plan to deepen cuts to Ohio’s personal income tax—cuts of 8 percent by 2020—while rolling back the House-proposed reductions to the $250,000 tax deduction for businesses. 
  • Massachusetts lawmakers have agreed to delay the state’s new payroll tax by 3 months. The tax will ultimately finance a new paid family and medical leave program.
  • New Hampshire passed its $13 billion state budget. The proposal includes targeted funding and tax changes—including a mandatory paid leave program funded by a 0.5 percent withholding of employees’ weekly wages—which Gov. Chris Sununu is likely to veto.
  • Lawmakers in Wisconsin are expected to release a budget plan this week that includes a $400 million tax cut. The tax cut is anticipated to look like the middle class tax cut vetoed earlier this session by Gov. Tony Evers.

 

SPORTS BETTING UPDATE

  • Illinois Lawmakers Vote To Approve Sports Betting On Last Day Of Sessios: Illinois is one step away from legal sports betting after a last-ditch effort from Rep. Bob Rita fell into place this weekend.
    • House lawmakers voted to approve a broad expansion of gambling within a capital funding bill on Saturday, and the Senate followed suit on Sunday. Gaming provisions within the act include a long-awaited casino in Chicago and authorization for both retail and online sports betting.
    • The bill now moves to the desk of Gov. J.B. Pritzker, whose recent comments make it clear he’ll sign it into law. The governor helped shepherd IL sports betting across the finish line, seeking to drive more than $200 million in additional revenue to his state.
    • Passage was, frankly, a remarkable feat considering the lack of progress through the first five months of the year. Previous proposals from Rep. Mike Zalewski were all turned aside, and a perceived conflict of interest forced him to step back in the final days of session.
    • Read more at Legal Sports Report
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