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    Legislative Update from your
    Chamber of Commerce Coalition

     

    Cesspool Bill Passed Senate Committee.  The Senate Committee on Environment & Agriculture passed S.369 SubA this week.  This bill would affect every property that currently has a cesspool.  If passed by the Senate and the House, a cesspool would have to be replaced with an on-site waste water treatment system, or the property must be tied into a sewer system, within one year of the sale of a property.  In reality, this will require the issue to be addressed prior to the closing of a property as most lenders will not hold money in escrow for such a condition unless extenuating circumstances exist.  The bill, if passed, would become effective January 1, 2016. Click here to view bill

     

    Below is a list of legislation that was filed last week or that is active this week.  The list contains bill numbers, links to the legislation, summary explanations and the Chamber’s position if applicable. 

     

    Senate Bill No. 194, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS – MINIMUM WAGES (Provides an increase in the minimum wage from nine dollars ($9.00) to ten dollars and ten cents ($10.10) per hour on January 1, 2016.).  The Senate Labor Committee is expected to pass this bill on the 27th.  The Committee may change the dollar amount of the minimum wage to something less than $10.10.  The Chamber opposes this bill.

     

    The House version H.5074 will be voted on in the House Labor Committee May 28th.

     

    Senate Bill No. 276, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS -- FAIR

    EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES (Prohibits employers from discriminating against employees due to pregnancy or medical conditions related to pregnancy or childbirth.) The Senate Labor Committee is expected to pass this bill on the 27th.  The Chamber has no position S.276 as most of the provisions are already covered under federal law.  This bill does require employers to allow an employee/mother to have breaks if needed to address post pregnancy issues.

     

    House Bill No. 5348

    BY Ruggiero, Regunberg, Hearn, Handy, Shekarchi

    ENTITLED, AN ACT RELATING TO HUMAN SERVICES (Extends low income childcare benefits indefinitely by repealing the June 30, 2015 sunset provision from the law.)  H.5348 will be heard by the House Finance Committee May 26th.  The Chamber has no position.

     

    House Bill No. 5229, AN ACT RELATING TO STATE AFFAIRS AND GOVERNMENT – HUMAN RESOURCE INVESTMENT COUNCIL (Provides for a wage reimbursement incentive for employers participating in the non-trade apprenticeship program and permits the governors workforce board to establish rules and regulations for the program.)  This bill will be heard in the House Finance Committee May 27th.  The bill is under Chamber review.

     

    Senate Bill No. 721, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS - WAGE

    DISCRIMINATION BASED ON SEX PROHIBITED (Provides protections against wage differentials based solely on sex.)  S.721 will be heard in the Senate Labor Committee May27th.  The Chamber has no position on this bill but will keep you up to date as it continues through the legislative process

     

    Senate Bill No. 722, AN ACT RELATING TO LABOR AND LABOR RELATIONS - FAIR

    EMPLOYMENT PRACTICES (Provides protection against unfair employment practices for persons who are caring for a family member.)  The Chamber opposes this bill.  It will be heard by the Senate Labor Committee May 27th

     

    House Bill No. 6210, AN ACT RELATING TO FOOD AND DRUGS -- SANITATION IN FOOD ESTABLISHMENTS {LC2695/1} (Permits dogs in outdoor dining of restaurants under certain circumstances and does not affect the rights of an individual to use a service animal.) This bill was just filed recently.  It will be heard in the House Health, Education and Welfare Committee May 27th.

     

    House Bill No. 6225AN ACT RELATING TO TAXATION -- RHODE ISLAND NEW QUALIFIED JOBS INCENTIVE ACT OF 2015 (Creates a tax credit program for new full-time jobs created in the state for a period ending in 2020, and would be limited to a tax credit based upon the reasonable W-2 withholding by the state for each new full-time job created.) This bill was filed May 21st.  It is under review.

     

    Senate Bill No. 939AN ACT RELATING TO FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS -- LICENSED ACTIVITIES (Updates financial statutes to assist new/growing business by allowing electronic notice with DBR director to develop rules/regs transferring liabilities and standards for communication plans.) This new bill was filed May 21st.  It is under review.