Hill Report

April 2018 State Report - Lobbyit

Legislative Tracking

Alabama

HB408

Representative Ingram

Date Introduced: 02/13/2018

Status: Read for the first time and referred to the House of Representatives committee on Health

Summary: This bill amends the Alabama Lead Reduction Act to add definitions, increase regulations relating to lead hazard reductions, increase the authority of the Department of Public Health to conduct lead inspections and enforce the act, and increase penalties for violations of the act.

 

SB131

Senator Pittman

Date Introduced: 01/09/2018

Status: Read for the first time and referred to the Senate committee on Finance and Taxation General Fund

Summary: This bill sets parameters on taxes imposed on the severance of forest products. States that taxes will be due quarterly to the State Treasury and placed into a new fund called the Special State Forestry Fund of the State of Alabama; this money will then be used for the purpose of carrying out the statewide forestry program. Not less than 85 percent of the taxes collected under and by virtue of this article shall be expended for forest protection.

 

Arizona

SB1193

Senator Steve Farley

Date Introduced: 01/16/2018

Status: Senate Second Read

Summary: Overtime pay bill that determines the specific numerical amount of overtime pay provided to workers in the state of Arizona. Effective immediately, this bill will set the overtime pay ratio at the fortieth percentile of weekly earnings of full-time nonhourly workers in the lowest-wage census region in the state. On January 1, 2021 – and every three years thereafter – the commission will adjust the salary amount to meet this specific target.

 

HB2311

Representative Eddie Farnsworth

Date Introduced: 01/11/2018

Status: Chapter 137

Summary: Bill concerning employer liability; states that an employer is not liable for hiring an employee or contracting with an independent contractor who has previously been convicted of a criminal offense. Note that this does not include individuals who have been convicted of a violent or sexual offense.

 

HB2436

Congressman Richard C. Andrade

Date Introduced: 01/17/2018

Status: House Second Read

Summary: Overtime pay bill that determines the specific numerical amount of overtime pay provided to workers in the state of Arizona. Effective immediately, this bill will set the overtime pay ratio at the fortieth percentile of weekly earnings of full-time nonhourly workers in the lowest-wage census region in the state. On January 1, 2021 – and every three years thereafter – the commission will adjust the salary amount to meet this specific target. (Note: same bill as SB1193 above, but in the House instead of the Senate.)

 

Connecticut

HB5061

Representative Sam Belsito

Date Introduced: 02/13/2018

Status: Referred to Joint Committee on Appropriations

Summary: An act relating to overtime pay that aims to reduce state employee overtime by fifty per cent. Note that the exception to this is overtime necessary within the Department of Transportation to mitigate adverse weather conditions.

 

HB5585

Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee

Date Introduced: 03/27/2018

Status: File Number 601

Summary: This zoning and tax law would require the Commissioner of Economic and Community Development to develop specific benchmarks to assess enterprise zone benefits recipients, and allow said commissioner to negotiate certain property tax exemptions with a business seeking enterprise zone benefits (and the chief elected official of the municipality in which such enterprise zone is located).

 

SB124

Senator Catherine A. Osten

Date Introduced: 02/14/2018

Status: Referred to Joint Committee on Finance, Revenue and Bonding

Summary: This bill provides a grant-in-aid to the city of Norwich for upgrades and renovations at Dodd Stadium.

 

SB143

Senator Toni Boucher

Date Introduced: 02/15/2018

Status: Referred to Joint Committee on Labor and Public Employees

Summary: An act with the stated purpose of implementing pension and benefit reform to restore fiscal stability to the state. The bill moves to exclude overtime and longevity payments earned after July 1, 2018, from retirement benefit calculations. Mandates that state employee pensions shall be capped at one hundred thousand dollars or the pension amount earned as of the effective date (whichever is higher).

 

SB518

Judiciary Committee

Date Introduced: 03/19/2018

Status: Public Hearing 03/26

Summary: This contracting-related bill aims to provide additional assistance to homeowners with crumbling concrete foundations, broadening the scope of specific situations or occurrences in which insurance companies are obligated to cover homeowners.

 

Florida 

SJR136

Senator Steube

Date Introduced: 08/10/2017

Status: Introduced – SJ 17

Summary: Proposing amendments to the State Constitution authorizing the Legislature to exempt certain manufacturing equipment from the tangible personal property tax. Alternatively proposes permitting such equipment to be assessed at less than just value pursuant to an accelerated depreciation method established by general law, and providing an effective date, etc.

 

Hawaii

HR172

Representative Lopresti

Date Introduced: 03/10/2018

Status: Report adopted; referred to the committee(s) on House Committee on Finance with none voting aye with reservations; none voting no (0) and Representative(s) Souki excused (1).

Summary: This bill, related to both new construction projects and renovations of existing structures and properties alike, urges the counties to amend their land use ordinances to include regulations to reduce storm water runoff on all new buildings and renovations.

 

HCR235

Representative C. Lee

Date Introduced: 03/10/2018

Status: Report adopted; referred to the committee(s) on House Committee on Finance with none voting aye with reservations; none voting no (0) and Representative(s) Souki excused (1).

Summary: This bill, relating to emissions and environmental impacts, urges the various state counties to implement the recommendations set forth in the June 2016 Hawaii Energy Codes Compliance Study. This also relates to legislation on updating and enforcing more environmentally-friendly building code.

 

SR72

Senator Keith-Agaran

Date Introduced: 03/10/2018

Status: Referred to Senate Committee on Labor/Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection, and Health.

Summary: This bill requests the state auditor to conduct a review regarding the performance of “incidental and supplemental” contracting work. This review must include an estimate of the number of licenses granted annually by the Contractors License Board.

 

Idaho

H559

Revenue and Taxation Committee

Date Introduced: 02/13/2018

Status: Delivered to Governor at 10:20 a.m. on March 16, 2018

Summary: This bill, relating to construction projects and tax law, amends and adds to existing law to provide for a provisional property tax exemption specifically for property that is under construction for a tax-exempt purpose.

 

Indiana

HB1198

Representative Heath VanNatter

Date Introduced: 01/09/2018

Status: First reading: referred to Committee on Employment, Labor and Pensions

Summary: Bill regarding unemployment benefits. Establishes a work sharing unemployment insurance program that requires employers to submit a work sharing plan for approval by the commissioner of the Department of Workforce Development. Sets specific parameters for how the work sharing benefit will be calculated.

 

HB1337

Representative Edward DeLaney

Date Introduced: 01/12/2018

Status: First reading: referred to Committee on Employment, Labor and Pensions

Summary: Bill establishing rules for benefit groups for independent workers. Requires independent benefit groups to register with the department of labor and file annual reports summarizing the group’s activities. Provides that amounts paid for work-related benefits and associated administrative costs are payable only from earned income. Provides that an independent worker who resigns membership in a group may not be required to sign a noncompete agreement. Establishes a benefit group council, consisting of a representative of each group, to recommend and administer the work-related benefits offered by the groups; this council must also file annual reports with the department commissioner summarizing the council's activities.

 

HB1388

Representative Linda Lawson

Date Introduced: 01/12/2018

Status: First reading: referred to Committee on Employment, Labor and Pensions

Summary: Bill stating that employers must provide paid sick leave of one hour of paid leave for every 30 hours of employment, up to a maximum of 40 hours of paid sick leave a year. Provides that the commissioner of labor shall enforce paid sick leave for employees and shall adopt rules to implement paid sick leave.

 

HB1413

Representative Ryan Hatfield

Date Introduced: 01/12/2018

Status: First reading: referred to Committee on Employment, Labor and Pensions

Summary: Bill regarding overtime compensation for certain employees. Provides that, after December 31, 2018, certain employees must be paid compensation for employment at a rate no less than 1.5 times their regular pay rate and, under certain circumstances, no less than two times their regular rate. Bill also removes outdated language and specifies the rules regarding tip credit.

 

SB121

Senator Frank Mrvan

Date Introduced: 12/28/2017

Status: First reading: referred to Committee on Pensions and Labor

Summary: Bill increasing the minimum wage for certain employees as follows: (1) after June 30, 2019, from $7.25 an hour to $10 an hour; (2) after June 30, 2020, from $10 an hour to $13 an hour; and (3) after June 30, 2021, from $13 an hour to $15 an hour. Provides that after June 30, 2022, and each subsequent June 30, the hourly minimum wage increases at the same percentage as any increase in the Consumer Price Index for the preceding calendar year. Makes small technical corrections and changes to the language of the existing Indiana Labor Code.

 

SB249

Senator Frank Mrvan

Date Introduced: 01/03/2018

Status: First reading: referred to Committee on Pensions and Labor

Summary: Improper worker classification bill which authorizes various departments to issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of records. Also provides framework to question witnesses under oath when conducting an investigation of any suspected improper worker classification by a construction contractor, as well as empowering the worker's compensation board to issue a stop work order as an additional remedy against an employer that does not have the required insurance. Provides a civil penalty of $1,000 for each day an employer violates a stop work order.

 

SB305

Senator Karen Tallian

Date Introduced: 01/04/2018

Status: First reading: referred to Committee on Pensions and Labor

Summary: Bill regarding payroll fraud which requires various departments concerning labor and workforce to share information on instances in which construction contractors pay workers in cash. Establishes a payroll fraud task force and to investigate suspected instances of payroll fraud, employee misclassification, and violations of other state labor and employment statutes occurring on commercial and industrial construction projects.

 

Kentucky

HB2

A. Koenig

Date Introduced: 02/12/2018

Status: passed 55-39

Summary: This bill, relating to employee compensation and medical care, states that in addition to other compensation provisions set forth in other legislation, an employer must pay for the cure and relief from the effects of an injury or occupational disease the medical, surgical, and hospital treatment of the employee, provided that the employee received the disease or injury as a direct result of the work performed.

 

SB17

Representative Thomas

Date Introduced: 01/02/2018

Status: Revenue (S)

Summary: Minimum wage act to raise the state minimum wage to $8.20 per hour on July 1, 2018; to $9.15 per hour on July 1, 2019; to $10.10 per hour on July 1, 2020; to $11.00 per hour on July 1, 2021; to $12.05 per hour on July 1, 2022; to $13.10 per hour on July 1, 2023; to $13.95 per hour on July 1, 2024; and to $15.00 per hour on July 1, 2025. Furthermore, the state minimum wage for tipped employees will be raised to $2.13 per hour on the effective date of the Act; to $3.05 per hour on July 1, 2019; to $3.95 per hour on July 1, 2020; and to $4.90 per hour on July 1, 2021. Include a provision enabling local governments to establish minimum wage ordinances in excess of the state minimum wage.

 

HB182

M. Cantrell

Date Introduced: 01/11/2018

Status: Workforce Investment (H)

Summary: Bill to require employers to provide earned paid sick leave to employees; stipulates that employees earn paid sick leave upon the date of hire – one hour for every thirty hours worked – and can use the leave after being employed for 90 days. Explicitly states allowable uses of earned paid sick time. Amends existing code to establish penalties for employers that fail to follow paid sick leave requirements.

 

Louisiana

HB84

Kenny Havard

Date Introduced: 02/21/2018

Status: Read second time by title and referred to the Committee on Judiciary B.

Summary: This bill sets provisions for authorized uses of inmate labor on construction projects financed by state funds. The bill explicitly states that inmate labor is automatically authorized at any administrative building or facility which provides management or support services to penal or correctional facilities.

 

HB806

Robert Johnson

Date Introduced: 04/04/2018

Status: Read second time by title and referred to the Committee on Judiciary B.

Summary: This construction-related bill provides for a special taxing district in certain parishes to fund construction and operation of a courtroom (and related facilities).

 

SB474

Yvonne Colomb

Date Introduced: 03/22/2018

Status: Read by title, under the rules, referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.

Summary: This construction and contracting bill authorizes certain projects to be undertaken by state agencies outside of the capital outlay process, and increases the amount exempt from professional service rules for contracts related to these activities. This would allow state agencies to purchase land, buildings, or other facilities outside of the capital outlay process, thus expediting the rate at which new projects can be engaged and completed.

 

Maryland

HB98

The Speaker (By Request – Administration)

Date Introduced: 01/12/2018

Status: Hearing 3/06 at 1:00 p.m.

Summary: Bill requiring employers with at least a certain number of employees to provide employees with paid time off that is paid at the same wage rate as the employee normally earns and that may be used by the employee for any reason. In order to obtain an exemption waiver from these rules, an employer must apply to the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. Requires that the Commissioner of Labor and Industry creates and makes available a certain poster and notice; also mandates confidentiality between employer and department.

 

HB1610

Representative Queen

Date Introduced: 02/09/2018

Status: Unfavorable Report by Health and Government Operations; Withdrawn

Summary: A bill related to contracting which moves to require the State Department of Education to establish child care centers for the children of State employees in State-occupied buildings. Requires the Department to survey certain employees and make certain determinations before the State renovates a building.

 

SB135

The President (By Request – Administration)

Date Introduced: 01/11/2018

Status: First Reading Finance

Summary: Bill requiring employers with at least a certain number of employees to provide employees with paid time off that is paid at the same wage rate as the employee normally earns and that may be used by the employee for any reason. In order to obtain an exemption waiver from these rules, an employer must apply to the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation. Requires that the Commissioner of Labor and Industry creates and makes available a certain poster and notice; also mandates confidentiality between employer and department. [note: Same bill as above, just in the State Senate]

 

SB1080

Senator Muse

Date Introduced: 02/12/2018

Status: Unfavorable Report by Education, Health, and Environmental Affairs; Withdrawn

Summary: A bill requiring certain recipients of State funds to install an assistive listening system in an assembly area during construction or renovation of the assembly area. Also requires the Department of General Services to establish a certain waiver and penalty process for contractors who do not comply with this regulation.

 

SB1122

Senator Conway

Date Introduced: 02/15/2018

Status: Returned Passed

Summary: This bill proposes an amendment to the Maryland Constitution to limit the uses of certain revenues to educational opportunities and programs in public schools, including the construction of school facilities. Requires the Governor to include in the budget supplemental funding for certain purposes.

 

Mississippi

HB199

Representative Bennett

Date Introduced: 01/02/2018

Status: Died In Committee

Summary: A civil action insurance bill to provide that, in the event of damages by the policyholder against a property and casualty insurer under an “all perils” coverage policy, the insurer has the burden of proof as to the application of any exclusion in the policy.

 

HB216

Representative Clark

Date Introduced: 01/02/2018

Status: Referred To Ways and Means

Summary: An overtime compensation bill that aims to amend Section 27-7-15, Mississippi Code of 1972, to exclude overtime compensation from the definition of “gross income” for the purposes of state income tax law.

 

HB310

Representative Clark

Date Introduced: 01/02/2018

Status: Died In Committee

Summary: An act to create the “Mississippi Minimum Wage Law” establishing state minimum wage at eight dollars and twenty-five cents per hour. Proposes amending various sections of the Mississippi Code of 1972 and establishing guidelines for employees entitled to overtime pay.

 

HB522

Representative Scott

Date Introduced: 01/08/2018

Status: Died In Committee

Summary: An act to create a small business health insurance pool which provides premium incentive payments for employers, employee premium assistance payments, and tax credits to be administered by the Commissioner of Insurance; these tax credits can be claimed when filing tax returns. Act will also create a board of directors and establish its duties, namely setting eligibility requirements for receiving premium incentive payments and providing penalties for wrongfully obtaining payments. Authorizes the division of Medicaid to pursue funding for employee assistance.

 

HB1246

Representative Anderson

Date Introduced: 01/16/2018

Status: Died In Committee

Summary: An act to create the “Mississippi Minimum Wage Law” establishing state minimum wage at nine dollars per hour. Proposes amending various sections of the Mississippi Code of 1972 and establishing guidelines for employees entitled to overtime pay.

 

HB1259

Representative Baria

Date Introduced: 01/16/2018

Status: Died In Committee

Summary: An act aiming to set the state minimum wage at nine dollars per hour (employers with tipped employees exempt). Sets requirements for exemptions from this rule, as well as establishing guidelines for employees entitled to overtime pay.

 

HB1260

Representative Karriem

Date Introduced: 01/16/2018

Status: Died In Committee

Summary: An act to create the “Mississippi Minimum Wage Law” establishing state minimum wage at ten dollars and ten cents per hour. Proposes amending various sections of the Mississippi Code of 1972 and establishing guidelines for employees entitled to overtime pay.

 

HB1303

Representative Paden

Date Introduced: 01/16/2018

Status: Died In Committee

Summary: Bill aiming to raise the state minimum wage to fifteen dollars per hour (employers with tipped employees exempt). Also aims to create the “Women’s Economic Security Act,” ensuring equal pay for employees performing the same job at the same skill level regardless of gender. Bill proposes a “Mississippi Community College for Single Mothers” scholarship grant; also aims to repeal sex-related education to consist of any medically accurate comprehensive instruction or program, instead focusing on programs which teach abstinence-only or abstinence-plus sex education.

 

HB1616

Representative Read

Date Introduced: 02/12/2018

Status: Approved by Governor

Summary: This bill reappropriates funds for the Department of Finance and Administration for fiscal year 2019 to reauthorize the expenditure of special funds towards construction, repair, renovation, etc. projects at various state agencies and institutions (as well as projects on state-owned land in general).

 

HB2018

Scott Fitzpatrick

Date Introduced: 02/15/2018

Status: Read Second Time (H)

Summary: This bill appropriates money for capital improvement and construction projects involving the maintenance, repair, replacement, and improvement of state buildings and facilities.

 

SB2254

Senator Simmons

Date Introduced: 01/09/2018

Status: Died In Committee

Summary: An act to establish a minimum wage law enacting annual incremental increases in the state minimum wage over a three-year period. The act will also define employers and employees subject to the minimum wage law; empower various departments to enforce and administer the law; to impose criminal penalties against employers that violate the law.

 

SB3004

Senator Wiggins

Date Introduced: 02/09/2018

Status: Referred To Finance

Summary: An act to expand certain ad valorem tax exemptions that municipalities are authorized to grant. This would include any privately owned new structures and any new renovations of and improvements to existing structures lying within a designated central business district or historic preservation district.

 

Missouri

HB1594

Representative Charlie Davis

Date Introduced: 12/12/2017

Status: Public Hearing Completed (H)

Summary: Bill to enact a new section of Missouri wage law with regards to employees working on the construction of public works. States that only employees who are directly employed by contractors or subcontractors in actual construction work may be considered as employed upon public works. Allows municipalities to opt out of the prevailing wage law if it conflicts with local ordinance(s).

 

HB1886

Representative Kurt Bahr

Date Introduced: 01/04/2018

Status: Withdrawn (H)

Summary: Employment tax bill which allows taxpayers to classify individuals as independent contractors under certain circumstances. For the purposes of Missouri employment taxes, the taxpayer may classify the individual as an independent contractor with a maximum employment tax rate of one percent.

 

HB1956

Representative Tracy McCreery

Date Introduced: 01/09/2018

Status: Read Second Time (H)

Summary: Bill regarding paid leave laws; establishes the “Missouri Earned Family and Medical Leave Act.” Beginning January 1, 2010, all employed Missouri residents will be required to pay 0.25% of their average weekly pay into the program, which will be used to provide up to six weeks of wage replacement benefits per year to employees taking time off for family or medical leave.

 

HB2156

Representative Kurt Bahr

Date Introduced: 01/17/2018

Status: Referred: Rules - Administrative Oversight(H)

Summary: Employment tax bill which allows taxpayers to classify individuals as independent contractors under certain circumstances. For the purposes of Missouri employment taxes, the taxpayer may classify the individual as an independent contractor with a maximum employment tax rate of one percent. (Note: same bill as HB1886 above, but with a slightly different set of circumstances in which a taxpayer may classify an individual as an independent contractor.)

 

HB2390

Gail McCann Beatty

Date Introduced: 02/06/2018

Status: Read Second Time (H)

Summary: Bill relating to remission of sales tax. States that any seller of tangible personal property or products transferred electronically who does not have a physical presence in the state shall remit sales tax, and shall follow all applicable procedures and requirements as if the seller had a physical presence in the state.

 

SB625

Senator Cierpiot

Date Introduced: 12/01/2017

Status: Referred H Rules - Legislative Oversight

Summary: Act to repeal certain sections of state code in favor of new rules on sales tax exemptions. Provides that a variety of commodities may be tax exempt, such as: fuel consumed in manufacturing or creating energy; grain or feed for livestock and poultry; materials, machinery, and parts used in manufacturing; and all sales made by or two religious and charitable organizations.

 

New Hampshire

HB1762

Representative Laurie Sanborn

Date Introduced: 11/21/2017

Status: Refer for Interim Study: MA VV 03/21/2018

Summary: Bill repealing the commissioner of the department of labor’s authority to make rules on youth employment and payment of wages. Amends the law to allow certain youths to work with the permission of a parent/guardian, as well as repeals the requirement for employers to maintain a written safety plan. Provides that an employer’s unintentional documentation errors shall not be the basis for imposing a fine, and slightly modifies the definition of tip sharing.

 

HB1793

Peter Schmidt

Date Introduced: 12/06/2017

Status: Inexpedient to Legislate: MA VV 02/08/2018

Summary: Act to create a New Hampshire health services program which provides universal access to health care for all individuals residing within New Hampshire. Strives to promote public health by stressing the importance of treatment and prevention of diseases, and aims to contain costs of delivering care within the financial means of the stakeholders in the state. (If legislation of this kind is enacted on a federal level, it is the intent of this act to become a part of a nationwide system.)

 

SB75

David Watters

Date Introduced: 01/18/2017

Status: Refer to Interim Study, RC 14Y-9N, MA; 01/03/2018; SJ 1

Summary: This bill establishes a tax credit against business profits taxes for donations to career and technical education centers with an aggregate allowable amount not to exceed $500,000 per fiscal year. The tax credit allowed against the business profits tax shall not exceed 25 percent of the tax due under RSA 77-A. The Department of Education would be responsible for computing the amount of tax credits to be issued based on qualifying donations that are reported to the Department.

 

SB247

Senator Dan Feltes

Date Introduced: 02/08/2017

Status: V. Remainder Effective 04/09/2018

Summary: Bill to prevent childhood lead poisoning from paint and water through making various changes in the laws regarding lead, including changing the blood levels for parental notification and requiring testing for blood lead levels in children ages one and two. Bill also provides provisions for making an appropriation to a special fund.

 

SB465

Senator Andy Sanborn

Date Introduced: 12/20/2017

Status: Pending Motion Inexpedient to Legislate; 02/01/2018; SJ 3

Summary: Bill repealing the commissioner of the department of labor’s authority to make rules on youth employment and payment of wages. Amends the law to allow certain youths to work with the permission of a parent/guardian, as well as repeals the requirement for employers to maintain a written safety plan. Provides that an employer’s unintentional documentation errors shall not be the basis for imposing a fine, and slightly modifies the definition of tip sharing.

 

New Jersey

A1302

Louis D. Greenwald

Date Introduced: 01/05/2018

Status: Introduced, Referred to Assembly Budget Committee

Summary: Excludes certain services rendered in connection with installation of carpeting and other flooring from sales and use tax.

 

A1876

Elizabeth Maher Muoio

Date Introduced: 01/07/2018

Status: Introduced, Referred to Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee

Summary: Requires municipalities to conduct lead paint inspections in single- and two-family dwellings; requires reporting of inspection results to State.

 

A1877

Elizabeth Maher Muoio

Date Introduced: 01/07/2018

Status: Introduced, Referred to Assembly Housing and Community Development Committee

Summary: Requires lead paint inspection prior to home purchases and tenant turnover; establishes educational program on lead hazards.

 

A3022

Anthony M. Bucco

Date Introduced: 02/08/2018

Status: Introduced, Referred to Assembly Labor Committee

Summary: Bill to revise test for either employment or independent contractor status under certain State labor laws. This bill would simply the parameters of the test, changing the definition of independent contractor to someone who is and will continue to be free from the control of an employer.

 

A3418

Wayne P. DeAngelo

Date Introduced: 02/15/2018

Status: Introduced, Referred to Assembly Labor Committee

Summary: Bill to establish New Jersey Commission on Construction Industry Independent Contractor Reform.

 

A3814

Bob Andrzejczak

Date Introduced: 04/06/2018

Status: Introduced, Referred to Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee

Summary: This contracting bill allows eligible landscape operators to make purchases of certain materials and supplies used in erecting structures, or building on, or otherwise improving, altering, or repairing real property of others without payment of the sales and use tax that is ordinarily due and required to be paid.

 

S856

Senator Shirley K. Turner

Date Introduced: 01/08/2018

Status: Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee

Summary: Requires municipalities to conduct lead paint inspections in single- and two-family dwellings; requires reporting of inspection results to State.

 

S937

Senator Troy Singleton

Date Introduced: 01/17/2018

Status: Referred to Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee

Summary: Establishes New Jersey Commission on Construction Industry Independent Contractor Reform. This commission will review and make recommendations regarding employee misclassification.

 

S1514

Senator Shirley K. Turner

Date Introduced: 02/06/2018

Status: Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation Committee

Summary: This construction bill prohibits the award of State contracts and development subsidies to inverted domestic corporations, defined as “a company that has been determined to be an inverted corporation by the Internal Revenue Service pursuant to section 7874 of the federal Internal Revenue Code.”

 

S2249

Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez

Date Introduced: 03/09/2018

Status: Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Environment and Energy Committee

Summary: This bill, related to construction projects, provides contractors with tax credits for the meeting of certain green building standards in legislation deemed the “Retrofitted Green Building Tax Credit Act.” The tax credits provided by this bill would be available for seven years.

 

S2310

Senator Bob Smith

Date Introduced: 03/23/2018

Status: Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Environment and Energy Committee

Summary: This bill requires DCA to authorize municipalities to impose highly-enhanced energy conservation construction requirements. These construction requirements will exceed those generally applicable within New Jersey, but instead will be consistent with energy efficiency standards adopted by a jurisdiction outside of New Jersey. This bill would also require the Commissioner of Community Affairs to undertake and complete a comprehensive review of energy efficiency standards within the state.

 

S2486

Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez

Date Introduced: 04/17/2018

Status: Introduced in the Senate, Referred to Senate Commerce Committee

Summary: This contracting and construction bill provides an exemption from the three-day cancellation provision of a home improvement contract in the case of a bona-fide emergency (by executing an emergency authorization form).

 

Rhode Island

S2103

Senators Calkin, Quezada, Satchell, Euer, and Goldin

Date Introduced: 01/18/2018

Status: Committee recommended measure be held for further study

Summary: An overtime pay bill which aims to exempt certain executive, administrative, and professional employees from overtime pay if their weekly wages exceed one thousand thirty-six dollars ($1,036) – an increase from the current two hundred dollars ($200).

            (accompanying bill: H7428)

 

S2651

Senator DiPalma

Date Introduced: 03/22/2018

Status: Withdrawn at sponsor's request

Summary: This environmental and construction-related bill aims to pass the Green Buildings Act, which would require major public facility projects to meet green globe and ANSI standards. These requirements would be in addition to the pre-existing guidelines laid forth in LEED buildings.

 

S2706

Senator Coyne

Date Introduced: 03/22/2018

Status: Committee recommended measure be held for further study

Summary: This act, relating to the contracting business, prohibits any contractual clause in a contract for home repairs which would limit the homeowners’ ability to initiate legal proceedings against the contractor for breach of contract.

 

S2779

Senator Morgan

Date Introduced: 04/06/2018

Status: Introduced, referred to Senate Environment and Agriculture

Summary: This construction-related bill would exempt school construction projects from LEED green energy requirements.

 

S2781

Senator Picard

Date Introduced: 04/06/2018

Status: Introduced, referred to Senate Finance

Summary: This manufacturing and construction-related act establishes the "refundable investment tax credit act" to provide for a refundable investment tax credit for certain investments in the construction of facilities, acquisition of tangible property, and the training of employees in the state.

 

Texas

HB1979

Representative Landgraf

Date Introduced: 02/16/2017

Status: Left pending in committee

Summary: A bill relating to the Texas emissions reduction plan and other related programs and measures to reduce emissions. Stresses the role of new technologies in electric motor vehicles and hydrogen fuel cells as a means to curb emissions state-wide.

(accompanying bill: SB26)

 

Utah

HB391

Representative Val L. Peterson

Date Introduced: 02/14/2018

Status: House/ filed

Summary: This bill prohibits lobbying and related action by certain state employees and entities. This description means “an individual employed by the executive branch of state government” – it does not include an individual who holds an elected or appointed position (i.e. the governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general, state auditor, etc.) or an individual employed by the state legislative branch.

 

Virginia

HB70

Representative Michael J. Webert

Date Introduced: 12/04/2017

Status: Subcommittee recommends striking from docket (7-Y 0-N)

Summary: Bill to amend the Code of Virginia by adding a section stating: no cause of action for negligent hiring shall arise against any employer solely because an employer hired an employee or independent contractor convicted of a nonviolent offense.

 

HB401

Mark H. Levine

Date Introduced: Mark H. Levine

Status: Subcommittee recommends laying on the table (5-Y 2-N)

Summary: Anti-discrimination legislation. Prohibits prejudice based sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, public accommodation, public contracting, apprenticeship programs, housing, banking, and insurance. The bill codifies existing laws on discrimination in public employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, age, marital status, disability, or status as a veteran. The bill contains technical amendments.

 

HB471

David A. Reid

Date Introduced: 01/07/2018

Status: Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely (5-Y 3-N)

Summary: Introduces regulatory and tax exemptions for new small businesses. Exempts new small businesses from (i) payment of unemployment, sales and use, and local license taxes and (ii) certain registration and reporting requirements with the State Corporation Commission. The bill defines an eligible business as any business that has its principal place of business in the Commonwealth, has not been in existence for more than five years, and has fewer than six employees or has paid less than $5,000 for the purchase or lease of business personal property, including machinery and tools and merchants' capital, since its inception.

 

HB1089

Jennifer B. Boysko

Date Introduced: 01/10/2018

Status: Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely (5-Y 3-N)

Summary: Bill to create the Virginia Equal Pay Act (the Act), which prohibits private employers from discriminating between employees on the basis race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, marital status, veteran status, disability, or age, in the payment of wages or other compensation for substantially similar work. The bill also prohibits (i) discrimination between employees by providing less favorable employment opportunities; (ii) limitation of an employee's right to discuss wages; (iii) infringement on an employee's right to not disclose wage or salary history; and (iv) retaliation against an employee who opposes an act or practice made unlawful by the Act. The bill also establishes (a) criteria for when wage differentials between employees can occur, (b) remedies for individuals aggrieved by a violation of the Act, and (c) provisions for enforcement of the Act.

 

HB1109

Representative Kathy K.L. Tran

Date Introduced: 01/10/2018

Status: Subcommittee recommends passing by indefinitely (5-Y 3-N)

Summary: Overtime compensation bill requiring an employer to compensate its employees entitled to overtime pay at a rate (i) not less than one and one-half times the employee's regular rate of pay for any hours worked in excess of 40 hours in any one workweek and (ii) not less than twice the employee's regular rate of pay for (a) any hours worked in excess of 12 hours in one workday and (b) any hours worked on the seventh day of work in any workweek (to the extent that the hours worked on such day exceed 40 hours worked in such week). The sanctions for an employer's failure to pay such overtime wages, including civil and criminal penalties, are the same as currently provided for failing to pay wages generally.

 

HB1391

Representative Christopher T. Head

Date Introduced: 01/15/2018

Status: Subcommittee recommends striking from docket (8-Y 0-N)

Summary: Bill regarding both unemployment compensation and overtime compensation. Excludes from the definition of wages any part of the individual's remuneration paid as overtime compensation; this exclusion applies only for purposes of computing the weekly benefit amount based on an individual's earned wages for insured work subsequent to December 31, 2018.

 

Washington

HB1009

Representative Shea

Date Introduced: 04/24/2017

Status: By resolution, reintroduced and retained in present status.

Summary: An act clarifying that the authority to mitigate environmental impacts under the state environmental policy act applies only to significant adverse environmental impacts.

 

HB2879

Representative Fitzgibbon

Date Introduced: 01/19/2018

Status: First reading, referred to Environment (Not Officially read and referred until adoption of Introduction report).

Summary: Bill concerning the Washington clean air act. States that the department may require persons who produce or distribute fossil fuels to comply with emission standards or emission limits when the fossil fuels are used in Washington state. The bill also adopts rules establishing air quality objectives and air quality standards to be applied universally throughout the state.

 

SB5438

Senator Braun

Date Introduced: 04/24/2017

Status: Senate Rules "X" file.

Summary: Bill promoting the completion of environmental impact statements within two years. This decision stems from the legislature’s recognition that excessive delays in the environmental impact analysis process adds uncertainty and burdensome costs to those seeking to do business in the state of Washington.

 

West Virginia

HB2990

Representative Sypolt

Date Introduced: 01/10/2018

Status: To House Energy

Summary: A bill requiring continuous monitoring of air, noise, dust and particulates; also requires the operator of a construction project to undertake the best available control technology if standards for air, noise, dust or particulates are exceeded. States that the limit of disturbance of a well site may not be closer than fifteen hundred feet of an occupied dwelling structure.

 

HB4562

Representative Foster

Date Introduced: 02/13/2018

Status: To House Industry and Labor

Summary: Legislation relating to the definition of an "employee" for purposes of payment of minimum wages, maximum hours, and overtime compensation (general wage law). States that employees may be exempt from state wage laws in circumstances involving employment in the sectors of either seasonal amusement or recreational establishments.

 

SB506

Senator Swope

Date Introduced: 02/07/2018

Status: Effective Ninety Days from Passage - (June 7, 2018)

Summary: Legislation deregulating persons who perform work on heating, ventilating, and cooling systems. Includes provisions on new laws regarding fire safety plans, sprinkler system review, and carpet specifications (that the fee for carpet review and approval is $20 per installation).

 

Wyoming

HB32

Select Committee on School Facilities

Date Introduced: 02/13/2018

Status: President Signed HEA No. 0018

Summary: Act relating to construction projects and financing the construction/renovation of public school buildings, including modifying the formula and payment structure for major maintenance funding for public K-12 schools. The act also amends requirements for school building and facility assessments, setting dates and parameters for projects.

 

SF65

Senator Bebout

Date Introduced: 02/14/2018

Status: Introduced and Referred to Senate Appropriations Committee - Appropriations 29-0-1-0-0

Summary: An act relating to state property and buildings which requires that specified agencies' needs assessments – including construction and renovation priorities – be submitted by the state building commission to the legislature as specified. This bill also requires legislative approval of capital construction projects as specified.

 

SF112

Joint Appropriations Committee

Date Introduced: 02/14/2018

Status: Placed on General File

Summary: This bill relates to the construction and maintenance of state institutions, providing for the establishment of the Wyoming retirement center and the Wyoming pioneer home. This legislation also provides an effective date for the goal of completion of construction, as well as provisions on health and safety inspection, building code inspection, etc.

View the 2015 Hill Report

During the month of May, Lobbyit presented at WFCA's board of directors meeting, updating WFCA's leadership regarding legislative and regulatory updates.

Legislation

S. 30 - Forty Hours is Full Time Act of 2015
Introduced by Sen. Collins (R-ME), this bill would address employer mandates in regards to health care coverage. The bill seeks to establish 40 hours a week as a full time position within the IRS, which currently stands at 30 hours a week. The bill would also modify the agency's formula to calculate the number of full-time employees employed by an applicable large employer subject to the current 30-hour a week mandate.

H.R. 2483 - Independent Contractor Tax Fairness and Simplification Act of 2015
Introduced by Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN), HR 2483 would eliminate prospectively the "safe harbor" that businesses use to misclassify employees as independent contractors (ICs). Businesses who have treated a worker as an IC would qualify for a retroactive safe harbor for purposes of past employment tax liability. It would prohibit the issuance of new regulations or "revenue rulings" by the Department of the Treasury with respect to the employment status of any individual for employment tax purposes. Would codify a new form of "safe harbor" if the worker:

Incurs significant financial responsibility for providing and maintaining equipment and facilities; Incurs unreimbursed expenses or risks income fluctuations because remuneration is "directly related to sales or other output rather than solely to the number of hours actually worked or expenses incurred";

Is compensated on such factors as percentage of revenue or scheduled rates and not solely on the basis of hours or time expended; and

"Substantially controls the means and manner of performing the services" in conformity with regulatory requirements, or "the specifications of the service recipient or payor and any additional requirements" in the parties' written IC agreement

The new safe harbor appears limited to a defined segment of ICs who bill for services based on scheduled rates, like truckers and messenger couriers. By focusing on this industry segment, the bill would exclude from its safe harbor many legitimate ICs that are traditionally compensated on an hourly rate, such as professionals (including sole practitioner lawyers, accountants, architects, and designers) as well as sole proprietors in the skilled trades (including electricians and plumbers).

HR 185 - Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015
Introduced by Congressman Goodlatte (R-VA), the Regulatory Accountability Act of 2015 would create transparency between regulating agencies and the impacted industries. The bill would require announcements regarding each regulating agency's agenda for the year, listings of what industries could be impacted and why, detailed, fact-based reports that justify each rule's inception, and data outlining trickle-down effects and third-party impacts. This bill recently passed the House and is expected to receive attention in the Senate. If WFCA leadership endorses this bill, Lobbyit will draft a new letter of support for the advocacy hub.

H.R. 2775 - Remote Transactions Parity Act of 2015 (RTPA) 
Congressman Chaffetz introduced his bill, the Remote Transactions Parity Act, on 6/15/2015. RTPA was introduced with 16 original cosponsors and that list has continued to grow to 29. The bill is a revised version of last year's Marketplace Fairness Act and is designed to entice more Republican support within the House. Similar to MFA, this bill would not requre states to collect online sales taxes, however, if a state were to participate, it must follow certain guidelines, which closely mirror the Streamlined Sales and Use Tax Agreement (SSUTA). A couple of these requirements include:

establishing a single entity within the state to oversee its local tax policy and collection,

provide free access to any national sales tax software or certified software provider (CSP),

relieve CSPs and remote sellers from liability for incorrect collection if liability is caused by information provided by state.

The bill would also have a small business exemption clause, initially set at $10 million gross annual receipts, which would decrease to $5 million the second year, and in subsequent years, the threshold will decrease and remain at $1 million. The bill is still under review and should NSGA have any insights or concerns, Lobbyit can pass along those comments to the Congressman's staff for further review. 

Stakeholder Meetings

The following stakeholder meetings were taken by Lobbyit.com on behalf of WFCA: 

Rep. Chaffetz (R-UT): Lobbyit revisited with Congressman Chaffetz's senior tax policy advisor, Amber Talley, regarding the Congressman's latest discussion draft. Amber said the draft is expected to be released in mid-June, and has asked for WFCA's support while the bill generates co-sponsors. Lobbyit will coordinate with Amber and meet with relevant offices in the coming weeks. 

WFCA board meeting: Lobbyit presented during WFCA's Newport Beach, CA board meeting earlier this month. Lobbyit's presentation consisted of updates regarding online sales tax reform, Lacey Act reform, workforce development opportunities, and potential regulatory impacts. The presentation also summarized WFCA's winter 2014 Hill visit, and addressed possible action items for fall 2015. Lobbyit fielded questions from WFCA's board and sent all of the presentation material to WFCA staff for future reference. 

In June, the following meetings were taken:

Rep. Duncan (R-SC): Lobbyit met with tax aide Joshua Gross, as well as Congressman Duncan, regarding their sponsorship of Rep. Chaffetz's bill, 2775. Rep. Duncan supported the Permanent Internet Tax Freedom Act (PITFA) and is a very conservative member of Congress. Rep. Duncan was targeted for this support of PITFA and willingness to support online reforms, such as RTPA. The office was interested in WFCA's history and struggle competing with online flooring retailers. Congressman Duncan said he would talk to Congressman Chaffetz and support RTPA - he is now a co-sponsor.

Rep. Granger (R-TX): Lobbyit met with tax staffer Donald Savidson to see if the office would support RTPA. Congresswoman Granger also supported PITFA and has been targeted by the MFA coalition to secure her support. Lobbyit shared WFCA's experience with showrooms and the "halo" effect, and while the office seemed interested, did not show much knowledge regarding RTPA. Lobbyit supplied literature on the bill and will continue to target the office.

Rep. Simpson (R-ID): Lobbyit met with legislative aide Sarah Cannon and Congressman Simpson regarding RTPA and the office's willingness to support RTPA. The meeting, while brief, was very productive and the Congressman said he did not want to create any additional roadblocks for brick-and-mortar retailers. He said he would support the bill and is now officially a co-sponsor.

View the 2017 Hill Report

On January 3, 2017, the 115th Congress of the United States was sworn in. This House of Representatives, led by Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), is currently comprised of 240 Republicans and 193 Democrats, along with 2 vacancies due to Members of Congress resigning their seat for another office. The Senate, led by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, is currently comprised of 52 Republicans, and 46 Democrats, along with 2 Independents who caucus with the Democrats. With President Trump's swearing in on January 20th, the Republican party now controls both the legislative and executive branches of the government. 

Having a single party in charge of the legislative and executive branches can have the effect of reducing gridlock and expediting the legislative process. However, the Senate requires the affirmative vote of 60 Senators to move legislation forward. While Republicans maintained their majority in the Senate, they lack the 60 necessary votes to push legislation through and will need to rely on at least 9 Democratic votes to advance legislation. The House is solidly Republican and does not have the same issue as the Senate. This will force some legislation to become more moderate than it would otherwise be at a time when one party controls the legislative and executive branches. 

Since this Congress has taken office, they have been focused on two main activities. In the House, legislators are using the authority of the Congressional Review Act to repeal Obama administration regulations which were put in place over the final 6 months of his Presidency. The Senate has been focused on confirming President Trump's nominees for his Cabinet. At the same time, President Trump has been issuing Executive Orders to implement many of the promises he made on the campaign trail. This combination of contentious Cabinet confirmations, new Executive Orders, and Congress' CRA actions, has helped to sharply increase the political divide on Capitol Hill since the election, and has all but eliminated any "honeymoon" period for the new administration. Adding to the logjam on Capitol Hill is a backlog of must pass bills from the previous Congress, which were not voted on before the election. 

Following the elections, efforts to pass the FY 2017 appropriations bills, which fund all federal government activity, stalled as Congress began to re-evaluate funding priorities. One tool to do so, is the reconciliation process by which Congress can adjust funding levels in the annual appropriations bills. This process is currently underway and will include two parts: the first will be to change current law to begin to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, with a second to implement many changes in tax law. Because the instructions for the reconciliation process are part of the 2017 Budget Act, Congress cannot move forward to the FY 2018 Budget Act and the FY 2018 appropriations season until these efforts are completed. This uncertain process is expected to take several weeks or more and the FY 2018 appropriations process will be delayed accordingly.

Activity

Patrick Cavanagh joined Lobbyit, as our newest Vice President, on January 26th, taking over for Brandon Farris' who has left the firm. 

Conducted initial orientation call on February 10th between WFCA and Lobbyit, to learn about WFCA priorities for Congress as well as how Lobbyit can be responsive to their needs. The call also shed light on WFCA data and information that will be helpful for future hill meetings. 

Became familiarized with issues important to WFCA including the Marketplace Fairness Act, independent contractors, the Silica rule, tax reform, and immigration as well as state-based issues to watch for. 

Identified key Hill and Administration offices and officials, and tracked whether new Administration personnel had been nominated/confirmed. 

Spoke with relevant committees of jurisdiction to determine if leadership appointments were made, and to discuss the development of committee's legislative agenda for the 115th Congress. 

Reviewed advocacy materials and updated them where necessary. 

Began planning congressional outreach and agendas for February and going forward with an eye towards a possible trip in March to speak with Congressional offices. 

Tracked new and reintroduced legislation that is of relevance to WFCA.

Legislation

S. 56 - RED (Regulations Endanger Democracy) Tape Act of 2017 
Senator Dan Sullivan (R-AK) introduced the RED Tape Act of 2017 in the Senate on January 5, 2017, and it was referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on the same day. 
This bill forbids any government agency to create a new rule or regulation unless it first, or in the process of creating the new rule, eliminates two already existing rules. The RED Tape Act would also require agencies to report semiannually to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs on their new rules created and repealed as well as the subsequent cost of those actions. 

S. 44 - End Pay Discrimination Through Information Act 
Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) introduced the End Pay Discrimination Through Information Act on January 5, 2017 and the bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. The bill does not yet have any cosponsors. 
This bill amends the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 to improve nonretaliation provisions relating to equal pay requirements. The bill specifically protects workers who disclose salary information of other workers. 

H.R. 156 - Labor Relations First Contract Negotiations Act of 2017 
Representative Gene Green (D-TX) introduced the Labor Relations First Contract Negotiations Act of 2017 on January 3, 2017. That day, the bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. This bill currently has no cosponsors. 
This bill amends the National Labor Relations Act to require the arbitration of initial contract negotiation disputes. It mandates the selection of a mediator after 60 days in a collective bargaining agreement. If after 30 days there is no agreement reached, the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service will provide binding arbitration. 

H.R. 155 - Worksite Reporting Act 
Representative Gene Green (D-TX) introduced the Worksite Reporting Act on January 3, 2017, and the bill was referred to the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. The bill does not yet have any cosponsors. 
The bill directs the Secretary of Labor to revise regulations concerning the recording and reporting of occupational illnesses and injuries under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970. 

H.R. 106 - Help Hire Our Heroes Act 
Representative Julia Brownley (D-CA) introduced the Help Hire Our Heroes Act on January 3, 2017, and the bill was referred to the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs. On January 19, 2017, the bill was subsequently referred by the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs to the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. There are currently no cosponsors to this bill. 
The bill amends the VOW to Hire Heroes Act of 2011 to make permanent the Veterans Retraining Assistance Program. 

H.R. 74 - REVIEW (Require Evaluation before Implementing Executive Wishlists) Act of 2017 
Representative Tom Marino (R-PA) introduced the REVIEW Act of 2017 on January 3, 2017, and it was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary. On January 5, 2017, the bill was subsequently referred to the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law. The bill currently has thirty cosponsors. 
This bill prohibits a final agency rule from being published or taking effect until the agency submits the rule to the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA), and the OIRA makes a determination as to whether the rule is a high-impact rule. The bill defines a "high-impact rule" as a rule that may impose an annual cost on the economy of at least $1 billion. An agency shall postpone the effective date of a high-impact rule until the final disposition of all actions seeking judicial review of the rule. Related Bills: H.R. 5 - Regulatory Accountability Act of 2017 

H.R.63 - HERO Transition from Battlespace to Workplace Act of 2017 
Representative Sheila Jackson Lee (D-TX) introduced the HERO Transition from Battlespace to Workplace Act of 2017 on January 3, 2017 and it was referred to both the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Committee on Veterans' Affairs. On January 19, 2017, the bill was subsequently referred by the Committee on Veterans' Affairs to the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity. The bill currently has no cosponsors. 
This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow employers a business-related tax credit for $1,000 times the number of veterans (not more than 25 in a taxable year) who begin work resulting from the efforts of a military relations manager. The bill: (1) deems as a reasonable effort of an employer to employ veterans, for purposes of veteran employment and reemployment programs, the designation of an employee as a military relations manager and the use of the military skills translator database (database for assisting veterans in relating military skills, experience, and training to civilian skills, experience, and training); and (2) defines a "military relations manager" as an expert in the process of transitioning from being a member of the Armed Forces to being a civilian and in translating the skills, experience, and training gained in the Armed Forces to skills, experience, and training needed in the private sector. The Department of Veterans Affairs shall: (1) ensure that the military skills translator database may be used by civilian employers, and (2) conduct outreach to inform civilian employers of such database. 

H.R.340 - Next Generation American Manufacturing Act of 2017 
Representative Jose E. Serrano (D-NY) introduced the Next Generation American Manufacturing Act of 2017 on January 5, 2017 and the bill was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. This bill currently has no cosponsors. 
This bill amends the Internal Revenue Code to allow a tax credit for the purchase of new products certified as assembled in the United States and consisting of at least 60% of components assembled or otherwise arising in the United States. The bill also establishes the 21st Century American Manufacturing Commission to conduct research to designate products eligible for such tax credit. The bill allows certain start-up companies, that are headquartered in the United States, a tax credit for up to 25% of their costs for the construction of a manufacturing facility and for the purchase of specialized equipment for use at such facility. 

S.18 - Fair Tax Act of 2017 
Senator Jerry Moran (R-KS) introduced the Fair Tax Act of 2017 on January 3, 2017, and it was referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. The bill currently has four cosponsors. 
This bill is a tax reform proposal that imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services in lieu of the current income and corporate income tax, employment and self-employment taxes, and estate and gift taxes. The rate of the sales tax will be 23% in 2019, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. There are exemptions from the tax for used and intangible property, for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes, and for state government functions. Under the bill, family members who are lawful U.S. residents receive a monthly sales tax rebate (Family Consumption Allowance) based upon criteria related to family size and poverty guidelines. Finally, the bill terminates the national sales tax if the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution (authorizing an income tax) is not repealed within seven years after the enactment of this bill. Related Bills: H.R. 25 - Fair Tax Act of 2017 

H.R. 25 - Fair Tax Act of 2017 
Representative Bob Woodall (R-GA) introduced the Fair Tax Act of 2017 on January 3, 2017 and it was referred to the House Committee on Ways and Means. The bill currently has 35 cosponsors. 
This bill is a tax reform proposal that imposes a national sales tax on the use or consumption in the United States of taxable property or services in lieu of the current income and corporate income tax, employment and self-employment taxes, and estate and gift taxes. The rate of the sales tax will be 23% in 2019, with adjustments to the rate in subsequent years. There are exemptions from the tax for used and intangible property, for property or services purchased for business, export, or investment purposes, and for state government functions. Under the bill, family members who are lawful U.S. residents receive a monthly sales tax rebate (Family Consumption Allowance) based upon criteria related to family size and poverty guidelines. Finally, the bill terminates the national sales tax if the Sixteenth Amendment to the Constitution (authorizing an income tax) is not repealed within seven years after the enactment of this bill. Related Bills: S.18 - Fair Tax Act of 2017 

S. 179 - Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act 
Senator Chuck Grassley (R-IA) introduced the Accountability Through Electronic Verification Act on January 20, 2017 and the bill was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary. The bill currently has ten cosponsors. 
S. 179 amends the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 to make the E-Verify program permanent. The bill requires: (1) federal agencies, contractors, and critical employers to participate in E-Verify; (2) all U.S. employers to participate in E-Verify within one year of enactment of this Act; and (3) employers using a contract, subcontract, or exchange to obtain labor to certify that they utilize E-Verify. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shall require the E-Verify participation of an employer or class of employers if DHS has reasonable cause to believe that the employer is or has been in material violation of the employment eligibility verification process under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). An employer's failure to use E-Verify shall be treated as a violation of the INA requirement to verify employment eligibility and creates a rebuttable presumption that the employer knowingly hired, recruited, or referred an illegal alien. The bill: (1) increases civil and criminal penalties for specified hiring-related violations, and (2) establishes a good faith civil penalty exemption/reduction for certain hiring-related violations. Employers who are convicted of specified hiring related crimes or who have repeatedly committed specified hiring-related violations may be disbarred from federal contract, grant, or cooperative agreement participation. State and local governments may not prohibit employers from using E-Verify to determine the employment eligibility of new hires or current employees. The bill authorizes the verification of individuals before they are hired, recruited, or referred if the individual so consents. Employers are required to: (1) use E-Verify to verify the identity and employment eligibility of any individual who has not been previously verified through E-Verify not later than three years after enactment of this Act, (2) reverify the work authorization of individuals not later than three days after their employment authorization is due to expire, and (3) terminate an employee following receipt of a final E-Verify non-confirmation and submit information DHS determines would assist it in enforcing or administering U.S. immigration laws. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must report weekly to Immigration and Customs Enforcement regarding each person receiving a final E-Verify non-confirmation. The Social Security Administration, DHS, and the Department of the Treasury shall establish an information sharing program. The bill: (1) provides for elimination of the Form I-9 process, and (2) sets forth E-Verify design and operation requirements. The federal criminal code is amended to: (1) provide that illegal aliens possessing or otherwise using false identification information not their own can be punished for identity fraud, and (2) subject a person who uses false identity information in furtherance of harboring or hiring illegal aliens to a fine and/or penalty of up to 20 years in prison. USCIS is required to establish a demonstration program to assist small businesses in rural areas or areas without Internet capabilities in verifying employment eligibility using publicly accessible Internet terminals.