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.
PAID FAMILY AND MEDICAL LEAVE: There are a couple bills that would establish a paid family and medical leave program. This issue almost passed last year and has become the Democratic legislature’s top priority. The bills would essentially require employers to offer employees paid leave for certain periods of time to take care of a medical issue for themselves or to help care for a family member that has a medical issue. Last year’s bill would have funded the program through a deduction from each employees weekly pay. This year the proposal is to have employers and employees share in the cost of the program by each chipping in 50% of the cost. Copies of the bills are not available yet, and no hearings have been scheduled.
PREDICTIVE SCHEDULING: There is legislation that will require employers to give employees 14 days advance notice of their schedule. It could also give employees certain rights when the employer needs to change the posted schedule. A copy of the bill is not available yet nor has any hearing been scheduled.
3% COMMISSION FOR COLLECTING THE ROOMS AND MEALS TAX: Legislation to reduce the 3% commission businesses get for collecting the rooms and meals tax will be considered.
CASINO GAMBLING: Senator Lou D’Allesandro has once again filed a bill to allow casino gambling in NH.
Contact the NHLRA with your legislative questions or concerns at 603-228-9585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.