Fortunately for Hawaii small businesses, they will not have to wait until the June 23 deadline to see how Gov. Neil Abercrombie acts on legislation important to them. That’s because NFIB helped defeat three bills negatively affecting them before the Legislature adjourned May 2, reports NFIB/Hawaii State Director Melissa Pavelicek.
Workers’ Compensation Change Stopped
NFIB opposed and helped to defeat a workers’ compensation measure, Senate Bill 2123, which would have altered the way in which independent, medical-exam physicians are selected. The bill would have increased the length of time for physician selection and attempted to alter employers’ right to select an independent doctor. The bill was deferred and did not advance this session.
Paid Leave Killed
NFIB/Hawaii also successfully opposed House Bill 2097 that would have required 12 weeks of partially-paid leave, financed through a governmental trust fund and administered through payroll deductions. The bill would have created further conflict between state, federal and local provisions regarding employee leave.
Paid Sick Leave Defeated
In another victory for small business, NFIB/Hawaii successfully opposed Senate Bill 2939 which would have reinstituted provisions of a mandatory employer-paid sick leave bill that was invalidated in federal court. The faulty law, and its more recent version, would have prohibited employers from requesting a doctor’s note unless the employee had been absent three consecutive days.
Minimum Wage Damage Minimized
NFIB Hawaii fought hard against the most severe proposals concerning the state’s minimum wage increase, averting the automatic increases that would have ensued had a consumer price index provision been included in Senate Bill 2609. The minimum wage bill, signed by Gov. Neil Abercrombie on May 23, will push the minimum wage to $10.10 per hour in 2018. NFIB Hawaii opposed the increase. The additional year delay in implementing the full increase was due in part to the opposition voice of business owners and NFIB Hawaii members.
Small Business Speaks Up
NFIB/Hawaii members joined more than 100 other business owners and advocates for a walk around at the State Capitol in January and later hosted a small business "talk story" session, recognizing the leadership of state Reps. Clift Tsuji, Richard Onishi and Aaron Johanson in March.