• Under the Dome

    *** ACTION ALERT ***
    In a recent conversation with Legislative Leaders about legislation that could harm the business community, they remarked that they don't hear enough from business owners like you at the State House. The Chamber realizes that it is difficult to come to the state house and sit through a hearing because you are busy facing the challenges of running a business. However, you do have a unique opportunity to come to the state house Tuesday 4:00-6:00 PM for a legislative reception where you can talk to legislators.
    If you are unable to attend the reception, we need legislative leaders to hear from you by communicating your concern via email, phone call or personal visit to your elected officials to show them you are aware of bills being considered for passage this session. 
    In a state like Rhode Island, standing up for your business can seem like a daunting task. But that is exactly why we need voices like yours to tell lawmakers in Providence the real-world impact of certain policy choices. If they do not hear your story, they can not be expected to understand the impacts legislation can have on your business.
    Below you will find a list of this session's policies that will impact your business, many of which are moving with strong support from lawmakers. We urge you to take five minutes to tell your elected officials, Speaker Shekarchi and Senate President Ruggerio that your business will be harmed if these bills pass into law.
    Time Off 

    • Proposals nearly doubling the amount of time workers can use for Temporary Caregiver Insurance (from 6 weeks to 12 weeks) and expanding the program to allow employees to take time to care for “a person for whom the employee is responsible for providing or arranging health or safety related care, including, but not limited to, helping the person obtain diagnostic, preventive, routine, or therapeutic health treatment.”
    • A bill to increase parental and family medical leave from 13 weeks to 24 weeks.
    • Bills prohibiting employers from mandating workers attend meetings to discuss legislation and the impact of unionization on the business.
    • A bill giving striking workers unemployment benefits while on strike, increasing the drain from the UI Trust Fund
    • A bill banning biweekly pay exemptions.
    • Proposals decreasing the SALT tax exemption for Pass through entities from 100% to 90%.
    Health Care
    • New health insurance coverage mandates add to the cost of health insurance premiums.  There are thirty-three (33) Senate bills that seek to add mandated benefits to the health care system.  There are twenty-six (26) House bills introduced this year. According to KFF, An Independent Source for Health Policy Research, Rhode Island currently ranks 6th highest for average annual single premium per enrolled employee for employer-based health insurance. For Enrollee plus one premium, Rhode Island is 10th highest, although the difference between 10th and 7th is $128 a year (interestingly, the employer contribution rate was 5th highest in the country in this category). In Rhode Island, KFF found that 51.2% of the population is insured through an employer (6.5% through non-group; 22% Medicaid; 15.4% Medicare; .7% Military; 4.1% uninsured).
    • Legislation requiring buildings over 25,000 square feet to annually disclose energy usage to the state.
    • Demands that newly built buildings must be prepared to go all-electric, and that existing buildings retro-fit over time to all-electric
    Senators - https://www.rilegislature.gov/senators/default.aspx
    Representatives - https://www.rilegislature.gov/representatives/default.aspx
    The following new bills have been filed:
    Senate Bill No. 2813  (Dept. of Revenue)  Britto, Tikoian, Lawson, DiPalma, LaMountain, Ciccone, BurkeAN ACT RELATING TO CORPORATIONS, ASSOCIATIONS, AND PARTNERSHIPS -- RHODE ISLAND BUSINESS CORPORATION ACT (Makes numerous technical amendments to the statutes on taxes and corporations, associations and partnerships.)
    Senate Bill No. 2840  McKenney, LaMountain, Burke, Raptakis, EuerAN ACT RELATING TO COMMERCIAL LAW -- GENERAL REGULATORY PROVISIONS -- CONSUMER ENFORCEMENT OF ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY DEVICE WARRANTIES (Requires manufacturers of assisting technology devices to make available to independent repair providers/the owner of the device, any documentation/parts, software/other items intended for use with the equipment/parts, including updates to software.)
    Senate Bill No. 2848  DiMario, Gu, Kallman, Valverde, AN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- THE RHODE ISLAND CLEAN HEAT STANDARD ACT (Created the Rhode Island clean heat standards act to implement a system of tradeable clean heat credits earned from the delivery of clean heat measures that reduce greenhouse gas emissions.)
    Senate Bill No. 2850  Valverde, Murray, LaMountain, Kallman, Britto, Gu, DiMario, MillerAN ACT RELATING TO HEALTH AND SAFETY -- TOXIC PACKAGING REDUCTION ACT (Updates the existing Toxic Packaging Act by delaying the ban on PFAS in processing agents, until July 1, 2027, and also expands the law by banning PVC and polystyrene in packaging.)
    Senate Bill No. 2888  DiPalma, Gu, Picard, Gallo, Lawson, BissaillonAN ACT RELATING TO COMMERCIAL LAW -- GENERAL REGULATORY PROVISIONS -- AUTOMATED DECISION TOOLS (Requires companies that develop or deploy high-risk AI systems to conduct impact assessments and adopt risk management programs, would apply to both developers and deployers of AI systems with different obligations based on their role in AI ecosystem.)
    Senate Bill No. 2900  DiPalma, F. Lombardi, Miller, Ciccone, SosnowskiAN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS -- EXTREME TEMPERATURE WORKER PROTECTION ACT (Directs employers to take certain actions to protect their employees who are exposed to extreme hot and cold temperatures.)
    Senate Bill No. 2901  Ciccone, DiPalma, Raptakis, F. Lombardi, Burke, LaMountainAN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC PROPERTY AND WORKS -- LABOR AND PAYMENT OF DEBTS BY CONTRACTORS (Prohibits contractors and subcontractors from paying employees the cash equivalent of any applicable healthcare benefit in lieu of actually purchasing the healthcare benefit. Violations would be subject to civil fines.)
    Senate Bill No. 2902  Cano, Mack, DiPalma, Pearson, DiMario, Zurier, McKenney, LawsonAN ACT RELATING TO PUBLIC PROPERTY AND WORKS -- CONTRACTORS BONDS (Provides that upon application, and good cause, the state may waive the bonding requirement for certified minority business enterprises or women owned businesses.)

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