Threatening Bills Emerge Early in 2020
January was a typically busy month for new bills as many legislatures convened for their 2020 sessions, but this year is different. Legislation that could threaten your business model and your business itself was introduced – with some moving very quickly.
Over 250 bills were tagged to monitor in the first month of the year and a fair number of bad bills are included, but usually have little chance of moving, much less passing both chambers and becoming law. But bills in Virginia and Washington require your more immediate attention if you have a footprint in either state because they are viable and, in the case of the bill in Virginia, moving quickly in a short legislative session.
Virginia HB 358
Virginia HB 358 would upend current law on public works projects and allow all state and local governments to require bidders for any public works project to engage in project labor agreements (PLAs) with labor unions in order to be eligible for the project. This bill could eliminate competition for public works projects, harm merit-based businesses with skilled labor, and ultimately drive up the cost of government for all citizens in the state. This bill quickly passed the House and is now in the Senate. Unions are hoping to have their way and eliminate merit-based contractors or force them to enter into collective bargaining agreements with the unions.
We encourage all members who believe public works projects should be earned and who believe union membership should be earned, not expected, to voice their opposition to this legislation.
Click here if you reside in Virginia or pass on to someone who does: https://www.votervoice.net/ESA/campaigns/71145/respond
Washington SB 6516
Washington SB 6516 would reduce the 40-hour workweek to a 32-hour workweek. Any hours worked by nonexempt employees over the 32-hour threshold would be paid overtime. This bill could be harmful to employees, companies and consumers. Companies faced with a decision to reduce employees to 32 hours or pay overtime could simply cut back on hourly workers schedules and hire more part-time labor. Or, if forced to pay overtime for that additional eight (8) hours per week, could pass the cost on to consumers, thus raising the costs for a host of goods and services.
In most cases, we believe employees will have their hours reduced and thus they will have smaller paychecks. We assume the sponsors of this bill think this bill will help workers, but we believe many employees will be among those most harmed if this bill were to pass. We launched an advocacy campaign on this legislation because the sponsors of this bill include Senate leaders. If you are located in Washington or know someone who is, refer to this link to reach out to your Senators and express your opposition: https://www.votervoice.net/ESA/campaigns/71074/respond