STATE BUDGET / TOURISM PROMOTION: On Monday, April 22, the Senate Finance Committee will hear from the NH Division of Travel & Tourism about its proposed budget for 2020-2021. The House-passed version of the budget that the Senate has before them keeps the Governor’s proposed increase of $3 million per year in the state budget to promote NH as a destination spot. $10.8 million would be appropriated each year. This is the first time in a long time that a budget is advancing with funding tourism promotion at the statutory amount equaling 3.15% of the rooms and meals taxes collecting in the prior year. This is a big victory for those in the tourism industry. The Senate will vote on its version of the budget by June 6.
SPORTS BETTING: On Wednesday, April 24 the Senate Ways & Means Committee will hear HB 480, which would authorize the NH Lottery Commission to conduct sports betting directly or through authorized agents. Authorized agents would be chosen by a competitive bid process.
VAPING: The Senate Commerce Committee has voted 3-2 to recommend passage of HB 511 with amendment. As amended, the bill would add vaping to the Indoor Smoking Ban. Current law makes no mention of vaping. If this bill passes, vaping will be prohibited indoors in places of public accommodation. The full Senate will vote on the bill next Thursday, April 26.
MINIMUM WAGE: On Wednesday, April 24 the House Labor Committee will hear SB 10, which would increase the minimum wage to $10 on January 1, 2020 and to $11 on January 1, 2022 if an employer offers its employees at least 10 paid sick days to employees, and to $12 if the employer does not offer at least 10 paid sick days to an employee. It would also increase the tipped wage to $4.00 upon the bill’s passage and require an employer to make up any difference between the tip wage and $12/ hour to guarantee that tipped employees earn at least $12/hour. This last provision of the bill is a big victory to NHLRA.
Contact the NHLRA with your legislative questions or concerns at 603-228-9585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.