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Legislative Update

February 9, 2017 Report

Bill prohibiting an employer from using credit history in employment decisions.
CommitteeLabor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services
Status:  In Committee – Due out:  3/2/2017

A bill relative to criminal record checks in the employee application process prohibiting the employer from asking a job applicant about his/her criminal history prior to an interview.
CommitteeLabor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services
Status:  In Committee

A bill relative to a family and medical leave insurance program.
A new program to be administered by the Dept. of Employment Security allowing private sector employees, from businesses of any size, other than self-insured entities that offer equivalent benefits) to voluntarily pay into a fund that they could then access if, and when they take time off from work allowed by the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA).
Employers would be required to make quarterly payments amounting to 0.5% of wages per employee, per week. An amendment recently presented would make participation on the part of the employee optional to participate if passed. Employers can withhold or divert the wages to satisfy the requirement.
The Department of Employment Security would use these moneys to create a Family and Medical Leave Insurance fund that would be used to pay FML benefits during the time of the employee needs to use it.
An employee would be able to take up to 12 weeks of FML, and once the employee returns, they would have to be restored to the previous or equivalent position. Governmental entities are exempted.
CommitteeLabor, Industrial and Rehabilitative Services
Status:  Retained in Committee

A bill relative to the state minimum wage
Minimum hourly rate:  $8.50/hour in September, 2017; $10/hour in March, 2018, and $12/hour in September, 2018
Status:  In Committee

A bill granting employer immunity from civil liability for disclosure of certain worker employment information about a worker to a prospective or current employer.
Status:  In Committee

A bill adjusting the minimum employer’s contribution rate for unemployment insurance.
Status:  Inexpedient to Legislate

 A bill requiring municipal approval for siting high voltage transmission lines.  This bill would prohibit high voltage transmission lines from being located in any municipality without a vote of approval by the municipality
CommitteeHouse Municipal and County Government
Status:  Inexpedient to Legislate 

A bill to create uniformity in the way that municipalities assess utility property for purposes of local property taxation.
CommitteeScience, Technology and Energy
Status:  Retained in Committee

A bill relative to the policy goal of electric utility restructuring.  This bill modifies electric utility restructuring policy principles by permitting electric utilities to pursue measures to mitigate the cost of electric service, reduce the price volatility of that service, and/or reduce the potential for disruptions in electricity supply, subject to the commission's determination that such measures are in the public interest
CommitteeEnergy and Natural Resources
Status:  In Committee 

A bill providing, that if Massachusetts adopts Atlantic standard time, the State of New Hampshire shall also adopt the Atlantic standard time, the effect of which shall be to make daylight savings time permanent in both states.
CommitteeExecutive Departments and Administration
Status:  Passed

A bill establishing a commission to study the transition of certain regulatory authority to the department of environmental services from the Environmental Protection Agency.
CommitteeEnvironment and Agriculture
Status:  In Committee – Hearing 2/14/2017

AN ACT relative to the MS 4 list of the department of environmental services.  This bill requires the department of environmental services to send the MS4 list to the environmental protection agency.
CommitteeEnergy and Natural Resources
Status:  In Committee

A bill authorizing individuals and certain businesses (under 100 employees) to purchase health insurance from out-of-state companies. Grants rulemaking authority to insurance commissioner.
CommitteeHealth & Human Services
Status:  In Committee

Relative to the appraisal of telecommunications poles and conduits under local property taxation.
Committee:  House Ways and Means
Status:  Inexpedient to Legislate;  Special Order to regular calendar 2/15/17 without objection

This bill reduces the rates of the business profits tax and repeals the business enterprise tax, the education tax, the utility property tax, and the interest and dividends tax.
This bill establishes an income tax.  Portions of revenues from the income tax shall be paid to the education trust fund and the general fund.
This bill requires the state to pay 35 percent of contributions of retirement system employers other than the state for group I teachers and group II members beginning in fiscal year 2021.
CommitteeWays and Means
Status: Report Filed – Hearing 2/15/2017

A bill to establish a “road usage fee” to be paid by owners of high mileage vehicles (hybrids, electric vehicles, etc.). Ideology behind bill is as technology and consumer desire for higher mileage vehicles, gas tax revenue (a funding source for road and bridge construction and maintenance) will decline over time. The bill takes into account the average vehicle miles per gallon combined with an average of 12,500 miles driven per year.  Fee would be collected at the time of annual registration and be deposited in a separate restricted road usage account within the highway fund.  Does not apply to motorcycles and mopeds or vehicles 1983 or older.
CommitteeWays and Means
Status:  In Committee

A bill to make a general fund appropriation for continuation of the project development phase of the New Hampshire capital rail corridor project.  This bill makes an appropriation of $4,000,000 for the fiscal year ending 2018 to the department of transportation for continuation of the project development phase of the capital rail corridor project.
Status:  In Committee


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18 South Main Street \ Rochester, NH 03867
Telephone:   603-332-5080 \ Fax: 603-332-5216
Email: info@rochesternh.org

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