SERVICE OF ALCOHOL AT BEVERAGE MANUFACTURERS: The Senate laid HB 1725 on the table to allow for more consideration of a floor amendment proposed by Senator Dan Innis. The Senate Commerce Committee had voted 4-0 to recommend passage of HB 1725 with amendment. In the eyes of NHLRA, Senator Innis’ floor amendment is an improvement over the committee amendment. As proposed by Senator Innis, the bill would allow beverage manufacturers to sell their beverages for consumption on the premises if they have food available. This is essentially what nano breweries are capable of doing now. The House is considering similar legislation. This issue is likely to resolved in a House/Senate committee of conference at the end of the Session.
LABOR LAW CHANGES: The House Labor Committee has voted 11-9 to recommend passage of SB 318 with amendment. As amended, the bill increases the number of hours 16 or 17 year olds can work during shortened school weeks. Current law limits the number of hours during any school week to no more than 6 consecutive days or more than 30 hours. As amended, the bill keeps the 30 hour limit on regular school work weeks, but loosens it as follows: no more than 6 consecutive days or more than 40 hours if school is in session for 4 days that week; and no more than 6 consecutive days or more than 48 hours if school is in session from 1 to 4 days. It further makes it clear that employees can purchase company garments beyond any uniform that is purchased for the employee by the employer. Finally, it makes it clear that there will be no penalty for failure of an employer to provide notification to an employee concerning changes to their wage when the minimum wage is increased by statute. The full House will vote on the bill next Thursday, April 26. NHLRA supports the bill.
PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE: The Senate Finance Committee has voted 4-2 to recommend that HB 628 be sent to interim study. This would prevent the bill from advancing anymore this Session. The bill would establish a paid family and medical leave insurance program for employees taking time away from work because of the birth of a child of the employee; because of a serious health condition of a family member; or because of a serious health condition of the employee. The insurance pool would be funded through a .67% deduction from employee’s wages which employers would remit to the NH Department of Employment Security on a quarterly basis. Employers would provide employees, upon hire, a form prepared by the Department that explains the program and provides an opportunity for employees to opt-out of the program. Employees would be given an opportunity to opt in on January 1 of each year. Participating employees would have to invest into the fund for 6 months prior to taking leave. The benefit would provide a participating employee 60 percent of their average weekly wages in the highest quarter of the year prior to the benefit year payable up to 6 weeks leave. The full Senate will vote on the bill next Thursday, April 26.
ENTERTAINERS CONSUMING ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES WHILE PERFORMING: The Senate postponed a vote on HB 1285 until next Thursday, April 26. The Senate Commerce Committee has voted 4-0 to recommend passage of HB 1285, which would allow entertainers in establishments that are licensed to serve alcoholic beverages to drink alcohol while performing. An amendment was added to the bill in the House to make it clear that “dancers” are also allowed to drink alcohol while performing.
PAYMENT FOR UNUSED VACATION OR PERSONAL TIME: The Senate Commerce Committee has voted 3-1 to recommend that HB 1201 be killed. The bill would require employers to pay employees earned but unused vacation time. The full Senate will vote on the bill next Thursday, April 26.
ALLOWING LIQUOR LICENSEES TO PAY FEES ON DELINQEUNT ACCOUNTS BY CREDIT OR DEBIT CARD: The Senate passed HB 1660, which would allow liquor licensees to pay fees on delinquent accounts by credit or debit card. The bill now goes to the Governor for his approval.
LIQUOR LICENSE RENEWAL DATE: The Senate passed HB 1692, which would allow a liquor licensee to select an anniversary for the renewal of his or her license. The bill now goes to the Governor for his approval.
PROHIBITING SOBRIETY CHECKPOINTS: On a vote of 15-7, the Senate killed HB 1283. The bill would have prohibited law enforcement agencies from conducting sobriety checkpoints.
NHLRA PARTICIPATES IN NATIONAL RESTAURANT ASSOCIATION ADVOCACY DAYS: NHLRA President Mike Somers lead a group of NHLRA members to Washington DC this past week to participate in the National Restaurant Association’s Advocacy Days. Joining Mike were NHLRA Board Chair, Mike McDonough of Fratello’s and Homestead, Vinnie Spiotti of the Appalachian Mountain Club, Sim Willey of Harts Turkey Farm, and NHLRA lobbyist Henry Veilleux. The group visited with our NH Congressional delegation to discuss important issues to our industry.
Contact the NHLRA with your legislative questions or concerns at 603-228-9585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.