NEED YOUR FEEDBACK ON NEW SWIMMING POOL REGULATIONS: The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services wants to change its program that regulates public bathing facilities (swimming pools, spas, etc). They have to inspect 1300 pools/year and only have the ability to visit 1/3 of them per year. They are finding more and more problems so they want to make sure operators have qualified people that can basically self-certify that they are in compliance. The new law would require pools to be operated only under the supervision of an individual who has successfully completed the certified pool and spa operator certification program offered by the Association of Pool and Spa Professionals, National Swimming Pool Foundation or other certification programs approved by the Department. It would also require pool operators to complete an annual self-certification declaration stating each pool at the facility is in compliance with all applicable requirements. An annual fee of $250 per pool up to a maximum of $1500 would also be established. These proposed changes are found in section 127 of HB 2 which is currently in the Senate Finance Committee. NHLRA has not weighed in yet. We’d love to hear your feedback.
MANDATING CHANGING STATIONS IN PUBLIC BATHROOMS: The Senate voted to re-refer HB 520 back to Committee for further review. HB 520 would require public accommodations built after January 1, 2021 to install and maintain at least one diaper changing station that is accessible to all genders. It would also apply to any single renovation of an existing building or facility which is proposed to be constructed on or after January 1, 2021, if the cost of such renovation exceeds $50,000. The State Building Code Review Board will be taking this matter up at an upcoming meeting and therefore, the Senate re-referred the bill to allow them the opportunity to address this issue.
UNIVERSAL CHANGING STATIONS: The Senate Executive Departments Committee has voted 4-1 to recommend passage of HB 628 , which would require newly constructed public buildings with foot traffic of more than 1500 people per day or of more than 40,000 square feet, to have at least one universal changing station installed in a family restroom facility for persons of either sex who have a physical disability. The full Senate will vote on the bill next Thursday, May 23.
PLASTIC BAGS AND STRAWS: The Senate turned down two bills that would roll back the use of plastic bags and straws. They killed HB 558 , which would have prohibited food service businesses from providing a plastic straw to a customer unless specifically requested. They stripped out the original version of HB 560 which would have would prohibited stores and restaurants from providing single-use plastic bags except to distribute their remaining 2018 inventory. It would have allowed stores and restaurants to provide reusable plastic or recycled paper bags to customers for 10 cents, to be retained by the business. In its place they passed an amended version of HB 560 which simply requires cities and towns to report to the State on what extent the city or town has achieved the State’s goal of diverting 40% of the solid waste from landfills and incinerators.
MINIMUM WAGE: The Senate Commerce Committee has voted 3-2 to recommend that HB 186 be re-referred back to committee for further review. HB 186 would increase the minimum wage to $9.50 on January 1, 2020; to $10.75 on January 1, 2021; and to $12.00 on January 1, 2022. It would also increase the wage for tipped employees from 45% of the minimum to 50% of the minimum. Lastly, it would set a youth wage that would be $1 less than the minimum. If the full Senate goes along with re-referring the bill next Thursday when it meets, that will leave one minimum wage bill still in play – SB 10. This Senate Bill would raise the minimum wage to $12 over three years. It would go to $10.00 on January 1, 2020, and then on January 1, 2022 to $11.00 for employers that offer their employees at least 10 paid sick days, and $12 for employers who don’t offer their employees 10 paid sick days. It would also separate the tip wage from the minimum. Instead setting the tip wage to a percentage of the minimum (currently 45%), it would set it at $4.00. It would guarantee that tipped employees would earn at least $12.00/hour through tips and wages combined. If not, the employer would have to make up the difference.
Contact the NHLRA with your legislative questions or concerns at 603-228-9585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.