UNUSED VACATION TIME: The House Labor Committee voted unanimously to retain HB 532, which would require an employer to pay its employees for earned but unused vacation or personal time. The bill also requires employers to pay terminated employees for vacation time and personal time. The bill faced stiff opposition in the public hearing from various business groups. The committee voted this past week to retain the bill which means it will not go forward for a full vote this session and instead the committee will keep it and study over the fall and make a recommendation before the end of 2019.
ALLOWING THE SALE OF BEER IN REFILLABLE CONTAINERS: On Wednesday, February 20 the House Commerce Committee will hear HB 405, which would allow on and off-premise licensees maintaining an inventory of at least 200 different beer labels to fill standard refillable containers. The additional fee the licensee would have to pay would be $240. Manufacturers that don’t want their product served by refillable containers would be able to inform the Liquor Commission who would in turn inform the licensees.
CAPPING THE COMMISSION PAID TO ROOMS AND MEALS TAX LICENSEES: The House Ways & Means Committee has voted 19-0 to recommend that HB 254 be killed. 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. A big shout out goes to Eric Roberts (Lui Lui Restaurants), Dicky Desai (Hillbrook Motel in Bedford), and Rusty McLear (Hampshire Hospitality) who attended the public hearing and made a great case for defeating this bill. The full House will vote on the bill this Thursday, February 14.
REDUCING THE COMMISSION PAID TO KENO LICENSEES: The House Ways & Means Committee has voted 19-0 to recommend that HB 390 be killed. The bill would reduce the amount a Keno licensee may retain from 8 to 5 percent the amount of the proceeds from Keno games. The full House will vote on the bill this Thursday, February 14.
FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE PROGRAM: The Senate Finance Committee has voted 4-2 to recommend passage of SB 1, which would establish a system of paid family and medical leave insurance. The system would provide up to 12 weeks of paid leave for employees needed to take leave for themselves or for the care of a family member. The program would provide employees with 60% wage replacement. It would be paid by .5% deduction of an employee’s wage. Employers could decide to deduct all from an employees pay or share the cost in some manner. Employers with 15 or more employees would have to return the worker to their position once they return to work or to a “similar” position. The full Senate will vote on the bill this Thursday, February 14.
DIAPER CHANGING STATION: On Wednesday, March 6 the House Commerce Committee will hear HB 520 , which would require certain places of public accommodation to install and maintain at least one diaper changing station that is accessible to all genders when the facility is open to the public. It would apply to any new building or facility constructed on or after January 1, 2021. It also would apply to existing places of public accommodation when a renovation occurs that exceeds $30,000.
LIMITING SINGLE-USE PLASTIC STRAWS: On Wednesday, March 6 the House Commerce Committee will hear HB 558, which would prohibit food service businesses from providing single-use plastic straws to a customer unless specifically requested.
BANNING SINGLE-USE CARRYOUT BAGS: On Wednesday, March 6 the House Commerce Committee will hear HB 560, which would prohibit stores and food service establishments from providing single-use plastic bags to customers.
ADULT CHANGING STATIONS: On Wednesday, March 6 the House Commerce Committee will hear HB 628, which would require all places of public accommodation with capacity to serve 1,500 or more persons per day, and constructed after January 1, 2021 to install and maintain at least one universal changing place in a family restroom facility for persons of either sex who have a physical disability.
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