HOUSE AND SENATE ON BREAK NEXT WEEK: The House and Senate will take a break next week and return for business the week of March 6.
INCREASE IN TIPPED EMPLOYEE WAGE: The House Labor Committee has voted 12-9 to recommend that HB 1246 be killed. The bill would increase the tip wage from $3.27 to the full minimum hourly wage by January 1, 2020. The full House will take it up the week of March 6. NHLRA opposes this bill.
LIMITING THE TYPES OF BEVERAGES OFFERED WITH A CHILDREN’S MEAL: The House Commerce Committee has voted 14-4 to recommend that the House kill HB 1668, which would limit the beverages offered with a children’s meal to milk or a non-dairy milk alternative, 100 percent juice or fruit juice combined with water or carbonated water with no added caloric sweetness, water, sparkling water, or flavored water with no added natural or artificial sweeteners. The full House will take it up the week of March 6. NHLRA opposes this bill.
PAYMENT FOR UNUSED VACATION OR PERSONAL TIME: The House Labor Committee has voted 12-9 to recommend that HB 1393 be killed. The bill would require an employer that terminates an employee for any reason to pay that employee no later than the next regular pay period for unused vacation time or personal time. The full House will take it up the week of March 6. NHLRA opposes this bill.
ADVANCE NOTICE OF WORK SCHEDULE: The House Labor Committee has voted 21-0 to recommend that HB 1451 be killed. The bill would require employers with 10 or more employees or 2 or more locations to provide an employee with a work schedule in writing at least 7 days before the first day of the work schedule. The employer would have to post the written work schedule in a conspicuous and accessible location. If the employer requests changes to the written work schedule the employer would have to provide the employee with timely notice of the change and the employee would be entitled to decline any work shifts not included in the original noticed work schedule. The full House will take it up the week of March 6. NHLRA opposes this bill.
LOCAL SURCHARGE ON OCCUPANCY UNDER THE MEALS AND ROOMS TAX: The House Ways & Means Committee has voted 14-7 to recommend that HB 1609 be killed. The bill would allow cities and towns to add an additional surcharge not to exceed $2 per occupancy per 24-hour period on rentals within that city or town. This surcharge would be in addition to the state’s 9 percent meals and rooms tax. The licensee would remit the surcharge to the state along with the 9 percent state tax. The state would then send those funds collected back to the city or town. The full House will take it up the week of March 6. NHLRA opposes this bill.
CASINO GAMBLING: The Senate tabled SB 586 because the prime sponsor of the bill, Senator Lou D’Allesandro was absent. The Senate Ways & Means Committee has voted 3-2 to recommend that the bill be sent to interim study. The bill would authorize two casinos in NH. One would be authorized to have up to 3500 slot machines and up to 160 table games. The other would be authorized to have up to 1500 slot machines and up to 80 table games. Similar legislation passed the Senate last year but was defeated in the House. The full Senate will likely remove the bill from the table and vote on it during their Senate Session on March 8.
ENTERTAINERS CONSUMING ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES WHILE PERFORMING: The House passed 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 to make it clear that “dancers” are also allowed to drink alcohol while performing. The bill now goes to the Senate.
ADULT CHANGING STATIONS IN PUBLIC BATHROOMS: The House voted to send HB 1312 to interim study. This essentially means that a whole new bill would have to be introduced in the 2019 Session for the issue to move forward. The bill would require certain places of public accommodation (including new or renovated restaurants and lodging properties) to install and maintain at least one adult changing station for persons with a physical disability that is accessible to both men and women when the facility is open to the public. The requirement would apply to any new building or facility constructed on or after January 1, 2020. It would also apply to any single renovation of an existing building or facility constructed on or after January 1, 2025 if the cost of such renovation exceeds $10,000.00.
PROHIBITING SOBRIETY CHECKPOINTS: The House passed HB 1283, which would prohibit law enforcement agencies in NH from conducting sobriety checkpoints. The bill now goes to the Senate.