This past legislative session can best be characterized as one where NFIB New Hampshire worked to insure that first no harm was done to the state's small business owners. NFIB did not ask to have any pro-active legislation introduced in 2014, but NFIB Leadership Council actively tracked several dozen pieces of legislation and worked closely with legislators to stymie several proposals that would have increased the cost of doing business in New Hampshire.
Below is a list of costly business issues that NFIB NH worked to prevent this year. Had they been enacted into law, the cost of doing business in NH would have certainly increased for small business owners. They included:
· An 11% increase in workers compensation payments;
· An additional week of unemployment compensation and increase in recipient benefits prior to the scheduled reduction in the current surcharge on business payments;
· A 24% increase in the minimum wage;
· A restructuring of the workers compensation advisory council that would have inappropriately weighted the council in favor of labor and trial lawyers;
· An improper shifting of the burden of proof to business in determining outcomes for unemployment compensation hearings, and;
· An unfair shift of the liability in the apportionment of tort damages beyond a legal party’s degree of fault.
Governor Hassan recently announced that she appoint a task force to review the high costs of NH’s workers compensation system. The issue of ever increasing rates is a concern to members and NFIB NH plans to participate and offer input to the task force this summer/fall.
NFIB worked with other business groups to oppose much of this legislation. In a non-budget year there were no tax or funding issues to address this session. With 2014 being an election year, NFIB NH will participate in the electoral process as it has for the last 20 years with candidate surveys and endorsements to help elect pro-small business candidates that will fight for NFIB members to own, operate and grow their businesses.