NFIB In the News

Small Business News Round-up

NFIB makes headlines as the voice of small business. Read press coverage of how we’re standing up for you on small business issues.

New union-friendly rule from Obama targets small business | WashingtonExaminer.com

Date: June 15, 2015

The Obama Administration is perusing yet another labor rule largely ignore big companies and target small and medium sized businesses. Under the federal "persuader" rule, businesses must disclose whenever they hire someone to try to dissuade their employees from unionizing. Now the administration wants to expand the disclosure to include any time businesses receive legal advice on the subject. The new disclosure rule will not matter much for large corporations because they have in-house counsel to fend off union organizing campaigns, but you know who does not? You guessed it! Small businesses. NFIB Senior Legal Counsel Beth Milito told the Washington Examiner that the rule is so broad we expect to have to report every time one of our 350,000 members downloads the labor law legal advice manual from its website.

New rule not good for Montana | MissoulianT

Date: June 15, 2015

“House Resolution 1732 would stop the rule, and kudos to Montana Rep. Ryan Zinke for voting in favor of it,” NFIB MT State Director Riley Johnson said. “Now Sens. Steve Daines and Jon Tester need to act to protect small business, either by supporting similar legislation or by including language in the appropriations process that could halt the rule from moving forward.” Riley also cited the compliance costs of the rule and opposition of the Small Business Association.

Businesses criticize Connecticut budget over spending, taxes | HuffPo

Date: June 15, 2015

Business groups in Connecticut urged the legislature on Monday to pull back from Governor Malloy’s budget proposal that raises taxes for the second time in four years. The groups told lawmakers that increasing taxes will make the state less competitive and drive businesses and residents to other states. The Associated Press reported NFIB’s opposition to the budget plan. NFIB feels it is "exhausting for small business owners to continue to watch as lawmakers in this state make the economic climate less and less conducive to success. This budget will unequivocally raise taxes, in one form or another, on taxpaying citizens throughout Connecticut.”

@NFIB on Twitter: "@NFIBLegal will appeal decision in Texas Ambush Ruling after a court decided to uphold the controversial rule:"

Date: June 15, 2015

Kansas lawmakers trying to speed work on plan to boost taxes | AP

Date: June 15, 2015

The state house passed a bill that would raise $30 million through an amnesty program for delinquent taxpayers. The Associated Press reports that the measure falls far short of closing the state’s $400 million budget hole. However, passage of the tax bill will allow legislators in the House and Senate to open up negotiations that could lead to compromise legislation. Legislators are considering whether to roll back Gov. Brownback’s tax relief for small businesses. The AP notes that NFIB/Kansas renewed a radio advertising campaign supporting the tax relief.

Unions seek exemption from LA minimum wage law they helped pass | Fox News

Date: June 15, 2015

Los Angeles has joined a handful of other municipalities in passing a measure to increase the minimum wage to $15. However, the very unions that lobbied and organized protests in favor of the $15 wage are now asking for a special exemption so that they can collectively bargain for less than the minimum. FoxNews.com reports on the union hypocrisy and quoted NFIB Sr. Media Manager Andrew Wimer saying, "When unions do something like this, it demonstrates that their rhetoric about low wages is hollow. They seem perfectly willing to see workers paid less if it means getting more power for themselves." It doesn’t sound like the unions are going to get an exemption, but they are going to try.

Tax break affecting fewer business owners than expected | The Columbus Dispatch

Date: June 15, 2015

Many small businesses in the state may be missing out on a tax relief the state passed hoping to create more jobs. Ohio business owners who operate as pass-through entities, where profits are claimed as income, got a 50 percent state income-tax deduction in 2013 on the first $250,000 worth of income. In 2014, Republicans increased the deduction temporarily to 75 percent. But the number of filers claiming the tax deduction remains far below state estimates of the number who qualify, new data shows. Chris Ferruso, NFIB State Legislative Director, tells the Columbus Dispatch that more education about the deduction might still be needed. “You’d like to reach them all, but some folks will just inevitably think it’s too good to be true and not take advantage of it.”

Uber requests that ride-sharing be part of special session in Tallahassee | SaintPetersBlog

Date: June 15, 2015

State legislators are about to enter a special session to wrap up work they couldn’t accomplish during last month’s regular session. State NFIB Executive Director Bill Herrle signed a letter with other business groups asking the legislature to consider legislation regulating ride sharing companies like Uber and Lyft. The SaintPetersBlog writes that the letter asks for a bill: “Creating a permanent home for ride-sharing in Florida through a sensible, modern regulatory framework will be good for the state’s economy, good for our transportation ecosystem, and good for the people of Florida.”

@NFIB on Twitter: "If your #smallbiz is still using @Office 97 it's probably time to upgrade your #computers"

Date: June 15, 2015

California Air Resources Board has become a rogue agency | The Orange County Register

Date: June 15, 2015

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center is challenging California’s cap and trade auction, which is anticipated to raise between $12-$72 billion for state coffers. NFIB Senior Staff Attorney Luke Wake writes in an editorial in the Orange County Register that: “They say that if you give a mouse a cookie, he’s going to want some milk. Never has there been a better example than California’s Air Resources Board, which has assumed not only the power to regulate nearly every facet of our state’s economy, but now claims powers entirely unrelated to its statutory charge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020.”

Small Businesses Divided on Cities Upping Minimum Wage | NerdWallet

Date: June 15, 2015

NFIB Member Jose Villa, owner of Sensis, a cross-cultural advertising agency in Los Angeles, says he’ll have to stop hiring interns and junior staff members. “Sadly, the biggest impact is on young workers trying to gain skills in my industry, as they will be priced out. I can’t justify charging my clients $15 an hour plus markup for someone who knows nothing and is learning the job.” Villa says he’s also considering moving the office from Los Angeles to a more business-friendly city.

N.J. small business progress advances, slow but steady | NorthJersey.com

Date: June 15, 2015

state businesses are slightly optimistic about the future, citing recent surveys including the NFIB’s Small Business Optimism Index. NFIB State Director Laurie Ehlbeck says she had not heard similar positive sentiments from her own members. She said she believes New Jersey lags the national small-business recovery, in large part because the state still places "burdensome" regulations and red tape on enterprise. She cited a study released this month by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a conservative lobbying group, that ranked New Jersey 46th on economic outlook, mainly due to public policy.

Lawmakers talk possible concessions as budget negotiations loom | CPBJ

Date: June 15, 2015

Common Sense Nebraska on WOTUS | Morning Ag Clips

Date: June 15, 2015

NFIB joined with other members of the Common Sense Nebraska coalition on a statement opposing the recently approved EPA waters of the U.S. rule. Writing in Morning Ag Clips the groups say: “While we will review and analyze the impacts of this ‘final’ proposal over the next several days and weeks, we have little confidence that the agencies listened or have made changes to address concerns expressed by Nebraskans and others. That lack of confidence is founded in the reality that early on the EPA and the Corps committed to using a campaign type push for public support of this proposal. The idea that the agencies would campaign for regulation, rather than let the public fairly evaluate the proposal on its own merits speaks volumes to those who recognize this proposal as a plan not to regulate water, but rather initiate broad sweeping regulatory authority over private property.”

@NFIB on Twitter: ".@NFIB endorses @KellyforMS01 in Special Election, citing his dedication to #smallbiz: http://t.co/bDHsQDNYxe"

Date: June 15, 2015

Small Business Is Contributing More To Economic Growth And Job Creation | Forbes

Date: June 04, 2015

The Small Business half of the economy has clawed its way back to a somewhat normal level of economic activity according to the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) monthly surveys. The NFIB’s Index of Small Business Optimism has just reached its 42 year average, taking years to regain its footing after the official end of the Great Recession in June, 2009.  The recovery of the small business sector did not follow the usual pattern, an early surge in optimism, hiring and spending, tapering over the expansion toward the average. There was no surge this time, just plodding, sometimes erratic, improvement over 6 years.

EPA finalizes Clean Water Rule; businesses contend rule expands federal control over land use - Birmingham Business Journal

Date: May 28, 2015

The Obama administration approved the EPA and Army Corps’ Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) rule. It came as little surprise since EPA consistently rigged the process in their favor through ignoring requirements to perform small business analysis and using social media to pack the comments with support for their own rule. As a reminder, this rule radically expands the Clean Water Act and its permits, fees, and fines. The Business Journals gave the first business group quote to NFIB CEO Dan Danner: “This has the potential to bring local development to a stop and make it much more difficult for small businesses to make even minor improvements to their properties. It gives the EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers new power to regulate local projects and local business operations, and it creates for the trial lawyers and the environmental activists a whole new class of potential defendants.”

Obama team ramps up water regulations | USA Today

Date: May 28, 2015

"It's no surprise that the White House approved this massive expansion of federal authority over water. The process was rigged in favor of the agencies, who simply decided that they didn't even need to consider the effects on small business" said NFIB's Senior Manager of Regulatory Policy Dan Bosch NFIB said it "will work through legislative and possibly legal means to stop" the new regulations.

Small business group urges NY legislators to oppose 'toxic toys' legislation | AuburnPub.com

Date: May 28, 2015

State legislators should think twice before they pass new regulations on chemicals in children’s toys. NFIB/New York sent a letter to legislators with State Director Mike Durant warning them that: "Unfortunately, the alleged independent studies promoted by proponents of this bill amount to little more than 'junk science.’ Their findings are the result of skewed analysis that does little more than show what is in a product rather that how or why the chemical is present." While there's enough support in the Senate to pass the bill, Durant hopes senators will consider the potential impact on New York companies. "This flawed bill will further imperil a vital industry to our economy and threaten hundreds of small businesses across New York."

Why Should Small Biz be Worried about the Waters of the U.S. Rule | NFIB - YouTube

Date: May 28, 2015

@NFIB on Twitter: "Here’s why your #smallbiz should be worried about #WOTUS: #stopwaterpolice"

Date: May 28, 2015

The Center for Michigan : Bill banning setting of local minimum wage sparks partisan divide | BridgeMI

Date: May 27, 2015

NFIB State Director Charlie Owens recently testified in support of the bill and said cities and townships have enough priorities on their own without diving into policy questions better left to Lansing and Washington. The bill passed the state house 57-52 and will now head to the Republican-controlled senate. The senate voted earlier this month to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law.

Kansas House panel's new plan reverses business break, raises state's sales tax to fix budget | Daily Journal

Date: May 27, 2015

Kansas House Taxation Committee has advanced a plan that would roll back a tax break for business owners and farmers. The measure passed 8-6 and would raise $101 million by ending Gov. Brownback’s business stimulus tax. NFIB/Kansas has been one of the groups at the front of opposition to repeal of the what the governor calls a “small business accelerator.” The state senate is also debating a plan that would suspend the tax cut for two years, replacing it with an income tax credit against payrolls.

Paid-leave measure advances in legislature | Republican American

Date: May 27, 2015

State lawmakers are moving toward mandating paid family and medical leave in the state. House Bill 6932 would provide people who work for employers with at least two employees up to 12 weeks of weekly paid benefits. The bill would also establish a trust fund to cover the payouts. Employees would be required to contribute to this fund. There would be no employer contributions. The Republican-American writes that NFIB/Connecticut is one of the many groups who has testified against the bill.

@NFIB on Twitter: "Energy costs are in the top 3 expenses for #smallbiz. Bring those bills down"

Date: May 27, 2015

Texas business group slams EPA water grab | Watchdog.org

Date: May 26, 2015

NFIB Executive Director Will Newton told Watch Dog that if this rule is implemented “there could be almost no end to the federal red tape, fines and fees.” NFIB/Texas Communications Director Sarah Tober also noted that the 24,000 members in Texas are particularly concerned that the agency did not conduct a small business economic impact study. “Expansion of EPA’s already broad regulatory reach into seasonal streams, farm ponds and ditches does not necessarily mean better environmental practices. But it does mean more compliance cost for our already over-regulated small farmers and ranchers,” Sarah said.

Cuomo Seizes on Wage Issue as Legislature Sits Paralyzed by Scandal, Partisanship | Gotham Gazette

Date: May 26, 2015

NFIB State Director Mike Durant responded to the Governor’s wage board warning that an increase could put small franchises out of business. "Governor Cuomo is setting a frightening precedent by governing via executive order and completely usurping the legislative process," said Mike said. "The announcement of his intention to empanel yet another Wage Board will only embolden those calling on the State to dramatically increase labor costs on the full spectrum of small employers across New York. While NFIB does not represent the corporate fast food industry, this Wage Board assuredly will have a predetermined outcome and will set a disastrous course for future minimum wage discussion that will impact New York small businesses."

Governor’s “Plan B” tax plan undergoes grilling | Las Vegas Review-Journal

Date: May 26, 2015

Governor Sandoval’s “Plan B” tax proposal, which is a combination of fee hikes on business licenses, higher modified business taxes, and a commerce tax on big businesses, underwent scrutiny by the Assembly Ways and Means and Senate Finance Committee yesterday, according to the Las Vegas Review Journal. NFIB State Director Randi Thomas said NFIB members opposed the commerce tax, but would support expanding the modified payroll tax.

@NFIB on Twitter: "VIDEO: Be sure that you and your employees know what to expect of "at-will employment." https://t.co/8vN2qznl3n #legaltips #smallbiz"

Date: May 26, 2015

EPA poised to issue landmark water regulations | TheHill

Date: May 26, 2015

NFIB is vehemently opposed to this land grab and Communication and Media Director Jack Mozloom told the Hill that “Our members are scared to death of it, because their property is their business in many case. They’re accustomed to dealing with their respective state environmental enforcement agencies, and this adds an entirely new and disturbing layer of federal bureaucracy on top of all that.”

Why small businesses aren't borrowing | CBS News

Date: May 26, 2015

business owners want to avoid repeating the mistakes they made before the recession in taking on too much debt. They're also worried about unpredictable government policies on a variety of issues ranging from the minimum wage to health insurance. NFIB Director of Research and Policy Analysis Holly Wade told CNCB MoneyWatch that borrowing is well below normal levels and small business owners "…are just unsure about how things are going to progress." NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg also told MoneyWatch that banks have enough money to lend, "we just don't have enough good applicants. They are sitting on the sidelines."

Wisconsin senior among top winners in nationwide contest

Date: May 26, 2015

NFIB Young Entrepreneur Foundation scholarship winner, Jacob Ehlert, was mentioned in the FDL Reporter. Jacob received the Innovations in Agricultural Entrepreneurship award for his creation of Jake's College Fund Eggs. “The quality of our applicants continues to improve in Wisconsin and I have a tremendous amount of confidence in the next generation of business owners in our state," NFIB State Director Bill Smith said. "Jacob's commitment to his core values of running a small business that provides fresh, farm to table product for consumers while maintaining strong relationships with his customers should be a model for all Wisconsin entrepreneurs. He is a truly worthy recipient of Animart's scholarship award."

@NFIB on Twitter: "Minimize distractions and work more efficiently this week with these 6 office hacks"

Date: May 26, 2015

NFIB publishes response to Gov. Wolf's inquiry | Pennsylvania Business Daily

Date: May 26, 2015

NFIB said that under the governor’s plan, a family or sole proprietor would pay a sales tax on legal and financial tax services, adding to Pennsylvania’s already complex tax code. NFIB also cited a recent survey revealing that over 75 percent of state business owners and executives disapprove of the proposed 2015-16 budget, with 79 percent stating that it would harm the state’s business climate. “Resolving the state's pension crisis would be the most effective way for you to achieve the ‘big things’ that you outlined in your May 19 letter. [We] urge you to give the proposal your most serious consideration,” NFIB Executive Director Kevin Shivers said. “Why not work together with NFIB to…enable the small companies already here to grow and thrive?”

Union Dues Spark an End-of-Session Dispute | The Texas Tribune

Date: May 26, 2015

– With the legislative session coming to an end, the House is trying to push a bill that would prohibit public employees from paying their union dues through pay roll deductions. Senate bill 1968 will need to be approved by the House Senate Affairs Committee either today or tomorrow and then will need to be voted on by the entire House by midnight on Tuesday. The Texas Tribune reported NFIB’s support for the bill arguing the practice helps sustain a traditional nemesis to business.

Business owners wary of proposed tax increases in Gov. Wolf’s budget | Times Leader

Date: May 26, 2015

lawmakers held a hearing on current state of jobs and the economy in Pennsylvania. Business owners and advocates shared their concerns with Republican legislators and members of the state House Majority Policy Committee on the Governor’s tax increases in his proposed budget. The panelists told lawmakers that Pennsylvania is already a difficult place to do business and the Governor’s tax increases would make that state’s business climate worse off. NFIB Legislative Director Neal Lesher told the Committee that the tax would reduce banks’ lending ability by $3.8 billion between 2012 and 2017. As a result, small business would have a harder time getting loans for expanding and working capital.

@NFIB on Twitter: "Behind on the buzz? Bookmark this page for the latest news & #smallbiz analysis of the day's stories"

Date: May 26, 2015

Senate may put brakes on House highway plan | POLITICO

Date: May 26, 2015

Politico reported yesterday that House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy floated an idea this week in an effort to bridge the divide between transportation-minded members of Congress, who want to use foreign profits to fund decaying highways, and tax reformers, who want to use the foreign money to lower tax rates. With a bill that does some of both, McCarthy’s hopes members in both camps have something to be happy about. The article weighs what lawmakers are saying about funding transportation and lowering tax rates and, according to Politico, many members of Congress cited NFIB’s opposition to business-only tax reform.

Hillary Clinton: Small businesses and community banks should get regulatory relief, not Wall Street | The Business Journals

Date: May 26, 2015

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton held a roundtable with small business owners in Iowa this week as she begins to roll out her plan for Main Street if she makes it to the Oval Office. Kent Hoover of the Business Journal reported on Hillary’s four-point plan to help America’s Small Businesses

@NFIB on Twitter: "Do more in less time, with these #timemanagement methods: #Infographic "

Date: May 26, 2015

The Republican Wrinkle in Repealing Obamacare’s ‘Cadillac Tax’ - NationalJournal.com

Date: May 26, 2015

Seems like a repeal of the Affordable Care Act’s “Cadillac Tax” is bringing unlikely groups together in an effort to kill it. The Cadillac Tax, which will begin in 2018, is a 40 percent tax increase on generous employer provided healthcare plans. Not only are business groups and unions banning together in opposition of the tax, but even more unlikely, repealing the tax has Republicans and Democrats in Congress working together. Two bills, one from each party, have been introduced in the House this year. NFIB Director of Legislative Affairs Kevin Kuhlman told the National Journal that its repeal has "more bipartisan support than many other single-provision repeal efforts."

Business Group Takes on CARB over Cap and Trade | Los Angeles Business Journal

Date: May 26, 2015

NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center filed an amicus brief in the case of California Chamber of Commerce v the California Air Resources Board (CARB) calling California’s cap-and-trade emissions auctions a form of extortion. NFIB Senior Counsel Luke Wake responded to the amicus brief saying, “We thought it was important to weigh in on this case because the Air Resources Board’s decision to auction emission allowances unnecessarily adds to the cost of compliance for businesses subject to CARB’s cap-and-trade program. As a general principle, we think government should seek to advance its regulatory goals without imposing unnecessary burdens on small business.”

Hickenlooper’s Steak Dinners Lure CEOs as Colorado Economy Rises | Bloomberg Business

Date: May 26, 2015

Colorado’s economy is on the rise and much of that can be attributed to Democratic Governor John Hickenlooper. Governor Hickenlooper, a former brew pub and restaurant owner, said he uses his many Republican advisers and advice from CEOs to diversify and grow the economy. One would think Hickenlooper, a former small business owner, would understand the struggles of a small businesses, but he has failed to addressed layers of regulations that boost compliance costs well over what big companies pay. “We see these new companies coming to Colorado and we’re still asking what’s being done to help us,” NFIB State Director Tony Gagliardi said. “I do appreciate the position he’s in, but we would like to see some more visibility from him. He campaigned on these issues, he’s a small businessman, he should be more aware of them.”

House committee approves bill prohibiting local wages | Crain's Detroit Business

Date: May 26, 2015

NFIB supports the bill and State Director Charles Owens wrote in a written testimony that, allowing cities, counties and townships to set their own rules on minimum wages and benefits such as paid sick leave would create “islands of regulation” that would make the municipalities unwelcome to companies.

Proposed minimum wage increase seen having negative impact on small businesses | Pennsylvania Business Daily

Date: May 26, 2015

Governor Wolf has made raising the minimum wage a top priority and earlier this month NFIB testified about the disproportionately negative impact the hike would have on small businesses. Pennsylvania Business Daily reported that NFIB projected job losses to exceed 100,000 over 10 years, concentrated in entry-level positions, if Governor Wolf raises the minimum wage from $7.25 an hour to $10.10. “Raising the minimum wage will have a deep and disproportionate impact on the small-business sector,” testified NFIB’s Legislative Director Neal Lesher. “Increasing labor costs does not incentivize growth or hiring, but instead creates incentives for employers to find ways to use less labor.” Suzanne Stolenberg, NFIB State Communications Director, added that the raise doesn’t just affect minimum wage workers.

@NFIB on Twitter: "Learn more about this issue #ditchtherule"

Date: May 26, 2015

Paid Leave Goes from Progressive Pipe Dream to Political Reality | The New Republic

Date: May 26, 2015

Left-leaning New Republic published its June edition and NFIB is featured in their cover story on paid family leave. The article tells the history of paid family leave and expresses its shock that President Obama was the first President to call for mandating it. NFIB Media and Communications Director Jack Mozloom was interviewed as the opposition to mandated paid leave. Jack told Lauren Sadler a story about an auto repair shop in New Jersey with eight employees that is only profitable if it repairs 200 cars per week. “He only gets paid if the workers are there providing a service,” Jack said. If a worker goes on leave to care for his family, the shop repairs fewer cars and earns less money.

Governor Wolf Tells PA Chamber to Stop Putting Oil and Gas Interests Ahead of Children and Schools | Reuters

Date: May 26, 2015

Governor Wolf sent a letter to business groups around the state expressing his disappointment in their unwillingness to compromise on what he calls a “commonsense severance tax.” The letter was in response to a letter sent by a coalition of business owners, community leaders and association executives last Thursday telling the Administration to reconsider a tax on the natural gas industry. NFIB was among the coalition. Reuter’s reported Governor Wolf telling the group that they need to stop putting the interests of oil and gas over Pennsylvania’s priorities like the interests of children and fixing our schools.

Mandate brings another all-payer database to market | Healthcare Payer News

Date: May 26, 2015

Governor Jay Inslee signed legislation last week to establish a fully functional All-Payer Claims Database (APCD), which will give consumers, providers and employers important new information to understand the quality and affordability of health care in Washington. An APCD is a large-scale, secure database that collects health-care claims data from health insurers as the basis for analyses of cost and quality. Health Care Payer News reported NFIB’s support for this legislation. “Businesses and consumers will now have access to meaningful cost and quality information to make informed healthcare decisions,” NFIB State Director Patrick Connor said.

@NFIB on Twitter: "Even the smallest of #smallbiz can get a boost from an organizational chart"

Date: May 26, 2015

Hillary Clinton Pivots from Big Money to Small Business | Bloomberg Politics

Date: May 26, 2015

Presidential candidate Hilary Clinton arrives in Iowa today to begin her pitch as a small business advocate. Clinton’s campaign said she will map out her ideas to cut red tape for small businesses, expand access to capital, find tax relief for business owners and stimulate exports. NFIB Media and Communications Director Jack Mozloom told Bloomberg, "We are glad that she’s focused on small business as a presidential candidate and we’re eager to find out what she has in mind." Jack cited Clinton’s NFIB voting record during her time in the Senate, which was averaged at 25 percent. "It’s not the worst but she could do better from our perspective," Jack said.

'Sin taxes' yield more than double business taxes in Mich. | Detroit News

Date: May 26, 2015

Reports showing that taxes on tobacco, beer, wine and alcohol brought the state more revenue than businesses in 2014 have some Democratic lawmakers up in arms claiming the tax code lacks fairness. Republican lawmakers and business groups defended the gap in tax pay noting that large and small corporations pay other state taxes on property, fuel, utilities and supplies, while some business owners pay the 4.25 percent personal income tax on their profits. "We're paying more than our fair share," NFIB State Director Charles Owens told Detroit News. "We're not getting sweetheart (tax credit) deals, we're not getting carve-outs."

7 tips for successful team-building activities | The Business Journals

Date: May 26, 2015

Research shows team building promotes a more cohesive and productive work place so Business Journal published NFIB’s tips on how to plan successful team building exercises.

Meet John Flanagan, the new Senate boss | Crain's New York Business

Date: May 26, 2015

Senator John Flanagan has been named Dean Skelos’ successor as Senate Majority Leader in the New York Senate. For those who do not recall, Skelos was arrested on federal corruption charges a few weeks ago and stepped down from his leadership position. Crain’s New York Business reported that Flanagan’s district and most of his policies are similar to Skelos’. NFIB State Director Mike Durant said he hopes Senator Flanagan will use his new position to advocate more assertively for lower taxes and business-friendly regulations. "We think Flanagan has an opportunity to lead the conference in a more aggressive manner on these issues," Mike said. "Being more proactive and pragmatic would be a slight course correction from Skelos' tenure."

@NFIB on Twitter: "#AskNFIB experts answered your questions about #Obamacare"

Date: May 26, 2015

Inslee signs law that sheds more light on medical prices | The Seattle Times

Date: May 26, 2015

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D) yesterday signed legislation to bring greater transparency to health care costs. The new law improves upon a measure passed last year that created the all-payer claims database by requiring for the first time that Washington insurance companies share their cost data. Previously the database had access only to limited price information. NFIB State Director Patrick Connor told the Seattle Times: “Today is the start of a new era for cost and quality transparency in Washington state. Businesses and consumers will now have access to meaningful cost and quality information to make informed health-care decisions.”

Cuomo convenes wage board, riles business groups | Westfair Communications

Date: May 26, 2015

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) will try to go around the state legislature to raise wages for fast food workers. Cuomo announced last week that he would convene a wage board who would look at this industry and recommend wages. There’s little doubt about what conclusion they will reach. NFIB State Director Mike Durant said that the governor: “is setting a frightening precedent by governing via executive order and completely usurping the legislative process.” He said the wage board “assuredly will have a predetermined outcome and will set a disastrous course for future minimum wage discussion that will impact New York small businesses.”

@NFIB on Twitter: "How to turn charity into good ROI #DoGood"

Date: May 26, 2015

Hiring felons bill gains attention | Oregon Business Report

Date: May 26, 2015

State legislators are considering “ban the box” legislation that would eliminate questions about felony convictions on employment applications. NFIB State Director Jan Meekcoms told Oregon Business Report that this could place small business owners in a hard place: “This bill puts the employer in a hiring straitjacket while maintaining the employer’s liability for a safe working environment. There is no negligent protection for the employer should HB 3025 pass. Employers are responsible for creating a safe working environment. If an employee, customer, vendor or member of the public is harmed by an employee who is a known felon as a matter of public record, the employer could find himself/herself in an expensive and egregious liability situation.”

Local Union Worker Heading To Springfield To Protest 'Right To Work' WTVO-TV and WQRF-TV

Date: May 26, 2015

New Gov. Bruce Rauner (R) wants the state to pass Right to Work legislation to prevent workers from being forced to join unions. WTVO ABC 17 in Rockford reports on a union member and a small business owner who are both headed to Springfield to weigh in on the bill. NFIB Memer Paul Knopp said, "I have no axe to grind with unions. Ok, they’ve served a good purpose in this country. But to say this can only be a union project, or a prevailing wage project is wrong.”

 



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