An Update from Your NFIB/MA State Director

Date: March 15, 2016 Last Edit: March 17, 2016

The latest small business news from Beacon Hill.

An Update from Your NFIB/MA State Director

Early in 2016, the Massachusetts Senate has enacted and sent to the House a number of bills that adversely impact small businesses.

For example, the state Senate has passed an expansion of workers compensation benefits which would increase employer costs for injuries that include scarring that is not visible. The state Senate has also passed a new consumer tax on paint to pay for the disposal of used paint containers. This is in effect an expansion of the sales tax that is planned for unlimited number of products in the future. The proponents call this “stewardship”. Consumers and small businesses call it a “tax”.

In addition, the state Senate has passed “soft on crime” legislation that will increase the felony threshold for shoplifting and other property crimes from $250 to $1500. The practical effect is to make larceny of $1000 or more in goods or by credit card a mere misdemeanor. The proceeds of this low risk, high reward crime can be used to purchase drugs and weapons and costs consumers millions annually.

Finally, the state Senate refused to support proposals to streamline compliance and limit lawsuits in architectural issues affecting Americans with disabilities.

These legislative initiatives are of course in addition to pay equity bill that increases paperwork requirements for small business owners, a scheduling bill that requires business owners to post work schedules two weeks in advance and pay ‘penalty pay’ for any changes, and paid temporary disability and family leave on top of the state’s sick leave law. Meanwhile energy supply and health care costs continue to plague small businesses. There is a war on small business.   

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