WORKERS COMPENSATION: The House passed SB 99 with amendment on a vote of 204-152. As amended, the bill would clarify the definition of gainful employment. When someone goes off temporary partial disability workers compensation and returns to work at a different position, this bill would ensure that the employer would have to return the worker to a position that pays the employee similarly to what they were being paid prior to the work injury. A provision to remove the 262 week limit on payments for temporary and permanent partial disability was taken out by the House Labor Committee. This provision could have increased workers compensation by between 5-30 percent. NHLRA opposes the bill. It now goes back to the Senate for consideration of the House amendment.
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). 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.
MINIMUM WAGE: On Thursday, May 9 the Senate Commerce Committee will hear HB 186, which 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. That would increase the tip wage from $3.27 to $4.75, then $5.38, then $6.00 over three years. Lastly, it would set a youth wage that would be $1 less than the minimum. NHLRA opposes the bill.
CASINOS: The House Ways & Means Committee has voted 17-2 to recommend that SB 310 be killed. The bill would authorize two casinos in NH. The committee noted that the New England Region is already overcrowded with casinos and that New Hampshire could not likely support a destination casino. The committee was also concerned with cannibalization of existing businesses in the state. The full House will vote on the bill next Wednesday or Thursday.
Contact the NHLRA with your legislative questions or concerns at 603-228-9585 or firstname.lastname@example.org.