REDUCING THE COMMISSION PAID TO KENO LICENSEES: On Wednesday, January 16 at 1:00 pm in Room 202 of the Legislative Office Building, the House Ways & Means Committee will hear HB 390. The bill would reduce the amount a Keno licensee may retain from 8 to 5 percent the amount of the proceeds from Keno games. If you are a licensed Keno operator and want to reach out to the House Ways & Means Committee to express your opposition to the bill, you can send an email to all the committee members by emailing to: HouseWays&MeansCommittee@leg.state.nh.us Even a short note expressing your opposition will go a long way. The number of emails they get matters.
CAPPING THE COMMISSION PAID TO ROOMS AND MEALS TAX LICENSEES: On Wednesday, January 16 at 1:30 p.m. in Room 202 of the LOB, the House Ways & Means Committee will hear HB 254. The bill would cap the amount rooms and meals tax operators could retain for collecting the tax at $100 per month. Currently, operators are allowed to retain 3% of the taxes due to the state if they remit the amount due by the 15th day of the month following their collection. Please contact House Ways & Means Committee members at HouseWays&MeansCommittee@leg.state.nh.us to express your opposition to this bill. One of the primary arguments we use is that operators must pay credit card fees when people charge their meal or room on a credit cards. The 3% commission helps to make operators whole for collecting the tax for the state.
ALLOWING DOGS IN RESTAURANTS: On Thursday, January 17 at 10:30 a.m. the House Commerce Committee will hear HB 249. The bill would permit restaurants to allow dogs on the premises. They would not be allowed in food preparation or production areas.
HEALTH INSURANCE PURCHASING ALLIANCES: On Thursday, January 17 at 11:00 a.m. the House Commerce Committee will hear HB 257. The bill provides that health coverage purchased through a qualified purchasing alliance shall be considered by the Insurance Department to be large group coverage. Under current law, health status and/ or experience is a permitted rating factor for large employers, but it is a prohibited rating factor for small employers. Small employers that would benefit from health status or experience rating would benefit by the legislation.
ALLOWING TOWNS TO REGULATE THE DISTRIBUTION OF SINGLE USE PLASTICS: HB 102 would allow towns to regulate the distribution of single use plastics. This would include the distribution of single use plastic bags. The bill has been referred to the House Municipal and County Government Committee. No hearing has been scheduled yet.
Contact the NHLRA with your legislative questions or concerns at 603-228-9585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Hampshire Lodging & Restaurant Association
16 Centre Street, Concord, NH 03301
P: 603-228-9585 F: 603-226-1829
Happy New Year everyone and welcome to our inaugural edition of our weekly update on what’s happening in the New Hampshire Legislature.
There are a lot of issues coming up that will definitely have a direct impact on lodging and dining establishments. Keep a close eye on these through this weekly communication because we will sometimes need you to take action.
Here’s what’s coming up (get ready to open your checkbook because things are going to cost more…)
MINIMUM WAGE: There are three bills that would increase the minimum wage. They range from increases to $10/hour all the way up to $15/hour. Two of them have been released. HB 178 and HB 186. Where it will finally end up is not known yet. Expect one thing though. The minimum wage will be increased this Session. The only question is to what level. One issue of particular concern is that one bill would increase the tip wage from 45% of the minimum wage (currently $3.27) to 60% of the minimum wage. If the minimum wage goes up to $10/hour and the tip wage is 60% of the minimum, the new tip wage would be $6.00/hour. The Chairman of the House Labor Committee plans to hear all three minimum wage bills on the same day and then follow up by crafting their own bill over the several weeks after the hearing. We will need to make some noise. Stay tuned ! No hearings have been scheduled yet.