An Update from the State House
Employer Property Liens, Employment at Will , Chickens and Veal
Last week was a busy week as a packed room discussed the ability of an employee to place a lien on an employer’s property if the proper wages are not paid. The Chamber testified against the bill pointing out that the burden of proof would shift heavily to the employer. An employee could send a letter stating the amount owed to the employee and the address of the property to be attached. If the employer fails to file a complaint in Superior court within 30 of the date of the letter, the lien is perfected. This system would encourage employers to pay even if they feel the wages are not owed – it would be cheaper to pay the employee than to pay an attorney to fight the dispute. The committee members asked great questions of the witnesses and seemed to understand the legal challenge of the lien proposal. The proponents are preparing substitute language in the hopes of passing some form of the bill.
The proposal to eliminate of the employment at will doctrine, gave the Chamber an opportunity to point out that only Montana has altered the doctrine, meaning Rhode Island would be the second state in the country to change employment at will. Again, the committee member asked probing questions to better understand the potential hazards of adopting a change.
An overflowing room of animal advocates and farmers led to a long debate on the treatment of chickens, pigs, calves and cows. The bill to eliminate the ability to restrict movement of these farm animals also includes language that disallows companies from purchasing animals raised in this manner. This issue is expected to be alive and debated throughout the remainder of the legislative session. If passed, as is, restaurants and other food companies would be responsible for ensuring the meat/eggs purchased comply with the law. Additionally, veal, as the public knows it, could no longer be served in Rhode Island.
Paid Sick Leave Bill To Be Heard Wednesday
On Wednesday at approximately 4:30 p.m. the Senate Labor Committee will meet in the Senate Lounge to hear testimony on paid sick leave. S.290, like the House bill, requires every employer to provide paid sick and family leave to employees. The leave accrues at 1 hour for every 30 hours worked up to a yearly maximum of 56 hours. The leave can be taken after the employee completes 90 days on the job. The leave can be used for the employee’s illness, illness of a parent, child, sibling, or anyone the employee has “an affinity” to which could mean friend. Leave can also be used for preventative care or domestic abuse issues – including stalking. An employee should notify the employer if it is reasonably possible, but employers cannot ask for proof of illness or domestic violence issues until the employee has been absent for 72 consecutive hours. The employer must hold the employee’s job for those three days. This is sometimes referred to as “No call, no show, no problem.” Please contact your state senator to let them know you oppose the passage of S.290.
TDI/TCI Expansion Bill Hearing Wednesday
The Senate Labor Committee will also debate the expansion of the State’s Temporary Disability Program and the Temporary Caregiver Insurance. S.678 would allow state and municipal employees to participate in the TDI program – they are currently exempt from the program. The bill increases the benefit rate from 4.62% of wages paid to the individual in a calendar year to 7.69%; and expands the TCI program to allow an employee to take time off to care for siblings and grandchildren.
Marijuana Hearing Tuesday
Marijuana will be the topic of discussion Tuesday at approximately 4:30 p.m. in the House Judiciary Committee – in the House Lounge. H.5555 legalizes recreational marijuana and establishes a system of marijuana growing, processing, and distribution. H.5551 will also be discussed at this hearing. H.5551 creates a 15 member commission to review and make recommendations on the effects of legalizing marijuana to the General Assembly by March 1, 2018.
MERS System Under Attack – Again
For those in the mortgage lending system or in the real estate market, S.659, An Act Relating to Property – Forms and Effect of Conveyances will be heard in the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday at approximately 4:30 p.m. in room 313 at the State House. This bill would require every transfer or assignment of a mortgage to be filed in the municipality wherein the property lies. Failure to record the transfer would make the transfer essentially void. The bill seeks to eliminate the ability to use the MERS system for tracking mortgage assignments. Rhode Island would be the only state in the country to eliminate MERS, thus making the sale of mortgages on the secondary market nearly impossible.
The following new bills were filed:
House Bill No. 6077, AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS-THE ENERGY AND CONSUMER SAVINGS ACT OF 2005 (Establishes minimum energy efficiency standards for certain products sold or installed in the state.)
House Bill No. 6082, AN ACT RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT -- RHODE ISLAND HEALTH BENEFIT EXCHANGE (Authorizes the RI health benefit exchange to seek a waiver under the Affordable Care Act, allow qualified small business owners/sole proprietors to purchase qualified health benefit plans offered by the exchange & not be forced into the individual market.)
Senate Bill No. 716, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS -- EMPLOYMENT SECURITY - BENEFITS (Increases the maximum weekly unemployment benefit rate to the higher of fifty-seven and one-half percent (57.5%) of the average weekly wages paid to workers in the prior calendar year or six hundred sixteen dollars ($616) per week.)
Draft Recommendations Published; Now Collecting Feedback Based on input from stakeholders and the Committee of Practitioners, RIDE has published the first drafts of recommendations for components of Rhode Island's ESSA State Plan.
Click here to view the ESSA State Plan Draft Recommendations Guide.
RIDE is now collecting your feedback on these recommendations so that your perspective can continue to inform our decision-making and our state plan can be responsive to your experience.
The following surveys will be open from March 31 – May 15, 2017. We thank you in advance for sharing!
1. Accountability Feedback Survey – English / Español
2. Supporting Educators & Leaders Feedback Survey – English / Español
3. Supporting All Students Feedback Survey – English / Español
4. School Improvement Feedback Survey – English / Español
Community Feedback Forums
Our community outreach continues in late April and early May. RIDE will host six regional community forums to share updates and gather feedback on the draft recommendations for the state's ESSA plan.
We will hold six forums at locations across Rhode Island:
· Greater Providence Area: Monday, April 24, at Cranston High School East, 899 Park Avenue, Cranston (Spanish language interpretation services are available)
· Southern Rhode Island: Wednesday, April 26, at Narragansett High School, 245 S Pier Road, Narragansett
· East Bay: Thursday, April 27, at Pell Elementary School, 35 Dexter Street, Newport
· Northern RI: Monday, May 1, at Cumberland High School, 2600 Mendon Road, Cumberland
· West Bay: Wednesday, May 3 at West Warwick High School, 1 Webster Knight Drive, West Warwick
· Providence: DATE TBA, at Providence Career and Technical Academy, 41 Fricker Street, Providence (Spanish language interpretation services are available)
All forums will take place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. These forums are open to everyone, but to reserve a spot at any of the forums, click here: http://www.ride.ri.gov/essa-forums
“The work of today is the history of tomorrow and we are its makers.”
— Juliette Low, founder of Girl Scouts of the USA
That poignant quote by Juliette Low is as applicable now as it was decades ago. In commemoration of National Women’s History Month, March has been dedicated to recognizing female trailblazers in both labor and the workforce. As we honor and reflect on the great strides that have been made, we must also acknowledge that more work has yet to be done.
According to a report in Fortune magazine, women’s share of the workforce in the United States grew from 33.4 percent in 1960 to 46.5 percent in 2000. While that number is expected to peak in 2025 at 47.1 percent, it keeps women at slightly less than half the labor force.
This increase is due in large part to the fact that women today are less likely to take breaks from work during their 20s and 30s, when they’d often stay home with their children.
Additionally, women have become significantly more likely to work into their 60s and 70s. Research shows that nearly 30 percent of women ages 65 to 69 are working (up from 15 percent in the late 1980s), and 18 percent of women ages 70 to 74 are employed (up from 8 percent).
Despite this positive surge of women entering and remaining in the workforce for greater lengths of time, women must continue to enhance their marketability to attain equal pay. As shown in a study conducted by Accenture, increasing digital fluency is a positive step toward achieving equal pay. Digital fluency denotes the way in which individuals embrace digital technologies to become more knowledgeable, connected and effective.
The Accenture survey highlights that about 76 percent of men utilize their digital skills more frequently than women (72 percent). Also, 52 percent of men say they’re consistently learning new digital skills, compared to just 45 percent of women.
To promote, encourage and support all business professionals, the Newport County Chamber of Commerce hosts several technology, leadership and networking seminars throughout the year. In celebration of National Women’s History Month, I encourage you to join with us for our upcoming Women in Business After Hours event on Thursday from 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at The Elms, 367 Bellevue Ave. in Newport.
The event, sponsored by the Preservation Society of Newport County, will feature a presentation by Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England CEO Pam Hyland. She will speak about the trailblazing history of the founders of Girl Scouts of the USA and today’s growing trends for women in the workplace.
By working together, we can ensure all professionals reach and exceed their career goals.
Erin Donovan-Boyle is executive director of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce. Commerce Spotlight appears the last weekend of the month in The Daily News and online at NewportRI.com.
SPECS EYECARE FEATURES OCEAN PLASTIC EYEWEAR IN SUPPORT OF HAITI
Local optometrists to be FIRST in Rhode Island to carry charity frame line
Middletown/Tiverton, RI-Specs Eyecare is proud to announce the practice is now featuring a line of Norton Point sunglasses made from recovered ocean plastics. The plastic is sourced in Haiti, where local workers are paid a living wage for the material they collect, providing needed income to local communities.
“We are very excited to be the first to bring these incredibly unique sunglasses to the state of Rhode Island. As members of Vision Source, a national alliance of premier, independent optometrists, we are supporting the development of the only optometry school in Haiti. These frames help to provide the funding for the necessary eye care needs of the greatly under-served Haitian population. Both my husband & I have been to Haiti to give charity eye care. We have seen their great need and poverty first-hand,” said Dr. Kathy Rispoli of Specs Eyecare.
“In addition, these frames help bring awareness to one of the greatest threats facing our oceans. Plastic.” said Dr. Al Rispoli of Specs Eyecare. “Saltwater fishing, sailing and boating are an integral part of the Ocean State’s culture. We need and want to do our part to keep our oceans clean.”
Norton Point spent close to a year and a half developing the philanthropic sunglasses and launched the collection in June 2016 on World Oceans’ Day. As a company, Norton Point is committed to reducing ocean plastics with their pledge to clean up at least 1 pound of ocean plastic for every product sold. They will also be investing 5% of their net profits into education, research and development for further functional uses of ocean plastics.
In addition to their pledge, Norton Point and Specs Eyecare will also be donating part of the profits from each pair sold to OptometryGivingSight, a world-wide charity program that gives eye care globally, including building the Haitian optometry school.
“We are thrilled to be involved with Specs Eyecare,” said Rob Ianelli, CEO of Norton Point. “Drs. Kathy & Al have been extremely supportive of our mission and work in Haiti. At Norton Point, we are working to prove the value in ocean plastics and Specs Eyecare is helping us do that.”
Norton Point Ocean Plastic sunglasses are available exclusively at both Specs Eyecare locations in Tiverton & Middletown, RI. For more information, visit them online at www.visionsource-specseyecare.com.
Norton Point is an eyewear brand based on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, MA. We have developed
the first line of eyewear made from recovered high-density-polyethylene (HDPE) ocean plastics. As a
company, our mission is to create a value chain for the reuse of ocean plastic by selling fashionable,
high-quality eyewear. In keeping with our mission, Norton Point reinvests 5% of net profits back into
improving and removes 1 pound of ocean plastic for every product sold.
Specs Eyecare is the private optometric practice of Drs. Alessi & Katherine Rispoli, with offices in
Middletown and Tiverton, RI. Since 1989, Drs. Al & Kathy Rispoli, Diplomates in the American Board
of Optometry and members of Vision Source, an alliance of premier, independent optometrists, have
been a leading provider of optometric services and vision care products in their communities.
Our Mission: We are fully committed to maintain eye health and maximize vision by providing
personalized, high quality eyecare and eyewear.
Norton Point Contact: Ryan Schoenike
An Update from the State House
H.5451 and S. Acts Relating to Businesses and Professions – Contractors’ Registration and Licensing Board are both being considered by the General Assembly this session. The bills require any applicant for a license or registration issued by the Contractors’ Registration Board to undergo a national criminal background check. If certain crimes show up on the back ground check, the enforcement agency conducting the background check must notify the Contractors’ Registration Board that “disqualifying information has been uncovered.” Those crimes include: murder, voluntary manslaughter, involuntary manslaughter, first-degree sexual assault, second-degree sexual assault, third-degree sexual assault, first-degree child molestation sexual assault, second-degree child molestation sexual assault, assault on persons sixty (60) years of age or older, assault with intent to commit specified felonies (murder, robbery, rape, burglary, or the abominable and detestable crimes against nature), felony assault, patient abuse, neglect or mistreatment of patients, burglary, first-degree arson, robbery, felony drug offenses, felony obtaining money under false pretenses, felony embezzlement, abuse, neglect and/or exploitation of adults with severe impairments, exploitation of elders, felony larceny, felony banking law violations, or willful trespass. The Board Executive Director would then meet with the applicant to obtain the facts surrounding the “disqualifying information” and make a determination as to whether the applicant should be rejected or permitted to obtain the license or registration. The final determination rests with the Executive Director of the Contractors’ Registration Board. Proponents believe this will protect RI citizens from potential crimes as contractors often work inside the home in close proximity with home owners and their families. Opponents fear this process will hinder the ability of former inmates to rejoin society in a productive way.
House Finance Committee to Hold Budget Hearings
On Tuesday March 21, at the Rise (approximately 4:30), the Finance Committee will take testimony from the public concerning the reduction or elimination of the motor vehicle excise tax. The Governor’s proposal calls for a 30% reduction in the valuation of motor vehicles – roughly a $58 million ticket item for the state. Speaker Mattiello has committed to reducing the tax by about $40 million in this fiscal year with a subsequent reduction to occur in each of the following 5 years until the tax is eliminated. Raimondo has said that the elimination of the tax would cost the state $215 million.
On Wednesday, March 22, at the Rise (approximately 4:30), the Finance Committee will hear testimony on Articles 8 and 9 of the Governor’s budget. Budget Article 8 – includes a fifty (50) cent per pack increase in the cigarette tax. This tax, estimated to raise $8.7 million would be divided into three buckets: $500,000 for a tobacco control program, $2.5 million for a Department of Environmental Outdoor Recreation Investment program and $5.7 million for the general fund. This tax would be the second highest in the country – second to the state of New York. Other new products that would be subject to the tax include: cigars, cheroots, stogies, smoking tobacco, chewing tobacco, hookah, shisha, snuf and hollow cylindrical or cone tobacco paper.
Article 8 also establishes new penalties for violating almost every tax law requirement including corporate taxes, sales tax, tax credit laws, conveyance taxes, gift taxes….the list goes on. The proposal states that if a person or corporation violates a tax law, the Division of Taxation can: 1) revoke a license or permit that is issued by the Division; 2) order the person/corporation to cease the violation; and/or 3) levy an administrative penalty between $100 and $50,000. Additionally the Division could assess an additional penalty equal to the costs it incurred for both inside and outside legal counsel fees.
New Bill Filed to Give Employees New Remedies
H.5931, which was filed last week, seeks to provide new legal remedies to employees. While the bill reads like a coded message, it can be discerned with a little work. The bill basically gives employees (1) a private right of action, (2) protection from whistle blowing and (3) the right to job reinstatement and health benefits reinstatement, in the event the employee believes the employer has violated state laws relating to employment hours for children, wage discrimination based on sex, minimum wage violations, employees manufacturing products from their home, holiday businesses and holiday and Sunday work. The biggest change is the ability to file a private right of action in court instead of going to the Department of Labor and Training for administrative relief. This process is more costly for employers. The bill can be found at: http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/BillText/BillText17/HouseText17/H5931.pdf
Small Cell Wireless Technology Bill To Be Considered By Committee
H.5944 – An Act Relating to Public Utilities and Carriers – Small Cell Siting Act. This bill seeks to position Rhode Island to deploy new wireless telecommunications technology to handle increased cell traffic and 5G technology. Small cell base stations are set to play an important role in expanding the capacity of wireless networks; and no state has – as of yet – deployed the technology on a large scale. These cells provide flexibility at less cost. The technology also reduces the number of large cell towers needed, as small cells can be placed on existing poles, street lights, etc. However, carriers need to install many small cells to communicate with each other. H.5944 encourages the installation of small cells by eliminating the ability of a municipality to charge a rental fee for placing a cell on public property. The City or Town could charge permitting fees for the initial installation, and the Carrier would maintain sole responsibility for installation and maintenance of the cell. Some communities in other states have attempted to charge up to $4,000.00 for one cell site which has caused difficulties in establishing the new technology. H.5944 seeks to eliminate that possibility. The House Corporations Committee will take testimony on the bill Tuesday, March 21st at the Rise.
The following bills were filed:
House Bill No. 5908, AN ACT RELATING TO CORPORATIONS, ASSOCIATIONS, AND PARTNERSHIPS (Imposes a fee of one hundred sixty dollars ($160) for all domestic and foreign corporations for a certificate of authority to transact business in this state.)
House Bill No. 5911, AN ACT RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT - STATEWIDE SITE READINESS FUND (Creates the statewide site readiness fund a state sponsored fund for the preparation of shared ready commercial, industrial and manufacturing property in the state.)
House Bill No. 5946, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY (Prohibits retail sales establishments from making available to their customers, plastic checkout bags, or plastic water bottles or expanded polystyrene disposable food containers at the point of sale.)
Senate Bill No. 584, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS - PAYMENT OF WAGES (Eliminates repealed statute references and creates a mechanism for workers to enforce their existing right to continuation of medical benefits, reinstatement after returning from being a temporary caregiver and Sunday pay wage laws.)
Senate Bill No. 586, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY (Requires registration and criminal background checks of individuals who provide personal care assistant services.)
Senate Bill No. 618, AN ACT RELATING TO CORPORATIONS, ASSOCIATIONS, AND PARTNERSHIPS - RHODE ISLAND NONPROFIT CORPORATION ACT (Simplifies process for foreign corporations to obtain certificate of authority by producing only certificate of good standing legal assistance from incorporating state or country.)
Improving the overall business climate in our state is one of the primary goals of the Newport County Chamber of Commerce. Working on behalf of our members, the chamber is committed to a number of specific priorities, including advocating for specific small business issues that will affect our members, supporting industry sector projects that will enhance the vitality of the entire county, and supporting education and workforce development initiatives underway to ensure we have the skilled workforce we need into the future.
For many small businesses, the cost of health insurance continues to grow and is the second-largest cost to employers after payroll. The chamber is working on behalf of the small business community by participating in the Small Business Administration Committee on Health Care and by coordinating regular meetings with state leaders to discuss potential solutions.
We are engaged in strategies to reduce overall costs to the system, as well as realistic approaches around innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities to enable direct and immediate impact. We hope to share more information on progress in this area in the near future.
Additionally, the chamber supports state matching funds of the Small Business Administration, Small Business Development Center and Center for Women and Enterprise federal resources. These valuable federal agencies provide tremendous business development tools and resources that have provided excellent programs for the small business community. Many of those programs can be found on the chamber’s website and their workshops take place right in our boardroom throughout the year.
The chamber recognizes the importance of the defense, marine trades, health care and hospitality and tourism industries to our local economy. We are continuously monitoring legislation that will impact those industries and advocating for continued statewide support for these sectors in the areas of cluster growth, infrastructure investment, and workforce development.
As we grow the local economy, education and workforce development are essential resources. The chamber will continue to promote education and workforce development opportunities through marketing and outreach on behalf of our trade associations and education partners. This will include continued participation in the Newport Working Cities Grant, whose mission is to address systems change in an effort to assist unemployed and underemployed residents to find upward mobility.
We will continue to offer job bank and job fair opportunities for employers and individuals seeking work, and will support regional efforts regarding the enhancement of our industry clusters.
We see regional economic development coordination as one of our key responsibilities, and we will continue to bring together key stakeholders and facilitate regular meetings with our leaders, government officials, and town and city representatives.
In addition to these efforts and legislative priorities, the chamber also will be implementing the Politics and Pancakes series to bring statewide conversations to Newport County for the entire community. Our first event will take place on Thursday from 8-9:30 a.m. at the Hotel Viking with Gov. Gina Raimondo.
Dear Rhode Island Veteran,
As a current or potential business owner, my office, along with our partner agencies are committed to providing you the best possible service to help you meet your entrepreneurial goals. Your service and sacrifice deserves nothing but the best, and to ensure we are meeting your needs I am asking you to kindly complete the below survey. The average time to complete the survey is just over 2 minutes, however, the combined data will allow us to significantly improve our services to you. Thank you for being an active participant in Rhode Island’s goal of leading the Nation in Veteran Services.
Director, RI Division of Veteran Affairs
Director, Veteran Business Outreach Centers of New England
An Update from the State House
Legislative Bill Filing Deadline
The House has extended the bill filing deadline to February 28, 2017. The Senate’s deadline was February 16, 2017. For those reasons, we can expect many bills to be released to the public the last week of February through the first two weeks of March. Stay tuned to UTD for new bills!
House Finance Committee Schedules Hearing for March 2nd
On March 2nd at approximately 4:30pm, the House Finance Committee will take testimony from the public concerning the proposed budget - Article 2 – Manufacturers. As you may recall from a previous edition of UTD, Article 2 seeks to assist manufacturers in order to grow the economy. It expands the Innovation Voucher program by allowing up to $1 million of the fund to be used for research and development by and for small manufacturers. It establishes a Refundable Tax Credit; and the Article creates a Refundable Jobs Training Tax Credit for manufacturers. The hearing will be held in Room 35 in the basement of the State House.
Marijuana Legalization Bill Filed
H.5555, An Act Relating to Food and Drugs – Adult Use of Cannabis Act, is a 47 page piece of legislation, which was filed officially February 16, 2017. This bill proposes to decriminalize the purchase, transport or possession of 1oz, of marijuana on the person or in a car; or 5 oz. or less of marijuana in a person’s home. The individual must be 21 years of age. A person 21 years or older could also grow up to two plants - only one can be mature at a time - in his/her home (more plants are allowed if there are more adults living in the dwelling or if a person has a license to have additional plants).
Briefly, the bill authorizes the creation of “cannabis cultivation facilities” which cultivate, package and sell cannabis to retailers, not the general public. This facility is not permitted to create products from the cannabis which is grown.
H.5555 allows for the creation of cannabis “processors.” Processors can take the cannabis and make products, as well as to sell cannabis paraphernalia and seeds. They can also purchase from cultivation facilities. The processor appears to be the only entity that can extract oils or other components from plants to be used to make edibles.
A retailer must be 21 years of age or older. The retailer can purchase from a cannabis cultivation facility or a cannabis producer, and can sell to the public.
The bill states that driving while under the influence is not permitted, nor is the possession of cannabis by a prisoner. Smoking cannabis in a public place is a violation of law subject to a fine of $150. H.5555 also says that employers are not required to accommodate the use, possession of cannabis at the worksite, or working under the influence of cannabis. It does not say that a person can be fired, just that employers do not have to accommodate with wishes of employees.
Landlords CANNOT ban tenants from using non-smoking forms of cannabis.
There are many other provisions contained in the legislation, including penalties for underage consumption, acting outside the bounds of a classification, registration requirements, and a 23% excise tax (not for medical marijuana).
Legislature Takes a Break
As is the custom, the General Assembly is on legislative break February 20-24. For that reason, there will be no edition of Under the Dome February 27th.
The following bills were filed last week:
House Bill No. 5479, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS -- EMPLOYMENT SECURITY (Creates a seasonal employment designation for purposes of unemployment insurance, which would allow employers regularly hiring employees on a recurring basis for less than 20 weeks to apply for a seasonal determination from the DTL.)
House Bill No. 5481, AN ACT RELATING TO WATERS AND NAVIGATION-RHODE ISLAND UNDERGROUND STORAGE TANK FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY ACT (Amends the Rhode Island Underground Storage Tank Financial Responsibility Act to streamline fund processes and clarify language within the law.)
House Bill No. 5485, AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC UTILITIES AND CARRIERS - TRANSPORTATION NETWORK COMPANY SERVICES - INSURANCE (Requires TNC drivers maintain commercial automobile liability insurance 24/7 and to park no closer than two hundred feet (200') from marked taxi stands.)
House Bill No. 5555, AN ACT RELATING TO FOOD AND DRUGS -- ADULT USE OF CANNABIS ACT (Establishes a system for the regulation and taxation for adult use and cultivation of marijuana.)
House Bill No. 5563, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION - PERSONAL INCOME TAX (Establishes a nineteen percent (19%) carried interest fairness fee for investment management services in order to tax the carried interest income of hedge fund and private equity investors as traditional ordinary earned income.)
Senate Resolution No. 277, JOINT RESOLUTION CREATING A SPECIAL LEGISLATIVE COMMISSION TO STUDY THE EFFECTS OF LEGALIZING MARIJUANA (Creates a 15 member commission to review and make recommendations on the effects of legalizing marijuana, and who would report back to the General Assembly by March 1, 2018, and expire on July 1, 2018.)
Senate Bill No. 284, AN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC PROPERTY AND WORKS -- CONTRACTORS' BONDS (Prohibits state, general contractors, and construction managers from withholding a retainer of more than five percent (5%) from public works contracts.)
Senate Bill No. 287, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS - MINIMUM WAGES (Raises the minimum wage to $10.50 per hour effective July 1, 2017.)
Senate Bill No. 289, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS - MINIMUM WAGE (Allows employers to pay the greater or 75% of the state minimum wage rate, or the federal minimum wage rate to employees eighteen (18) years or younger during the first six hundred eighty (680) hours or ninety (90) days of their employment.)
Senate Bill No. 290, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS -- HEALTHY AND SAFE FAMILIES AND WORKPLACES ACT (Requires all employers to provide their employees with a minimum level of paid sick and safe leave including time to care for the employee's family members.)
Senate Bill No. 311, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION - PERSONAL INCOME TAX (Imposes 2% tax increase on personal income over $250,000 effective January 1, 2018.)
Senate Bill No. 312, AN ACT RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT - TOURISM AND DEVELOPMENT (Exempts houses, condominiums, and other residential dwelling units from state sales or hotel tax.)
Senate Bill No. 318, AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION (Establishes a surtax on the business corporation tax for publicly traded corporations subject to SEC disclosure and reporting requirements, if corporation's ratio of compensation for its CEO to median worker is equal to or greater than 100 to 1.)
Senate Bill No. 350, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS - PAYMENT OF WAGES (Prohibits employers from deducting from their employees' wages for spoilage, breakage, cash shortages, losses, fines, or penalties for tardiness, misconduct or quitting by an employee without notice.)
Senate Bill No. 351, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS -- TEMPORARY DISABILITY INSURANCE (Allows employees, of an employer that sponsors disability insurance programs, to elect to exempt them from temporary disability insurance coverage.)
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